Docetaxel injection is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat certain types of breast, lung, prostate, stomach, and head and neck cancers. Docetaxel injection is in a class of medications called taxanes. It works by stopping the growth and spread of cancer cells.
Side Effects Of Docetaxel Injection
Docetaxel injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- changes in taste
- extreme tiredness
- muscle, joint, or bone pain
- hair loss
- nail changes
- increased eye tearing
- sores in the mouth and throat
- redness, dryness, or swelling at the site where the medication was injected
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
- blistering skin
- numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the hands or feet
- weakness in the hands and feet
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- blurred vision
- loss of vision
- stomach pain or tenderness, diarrhea, or fever
Docetaxel injection may increase your risk of developing other cancers, such as blood or kidney cancer, several months or years after treatment. Your doctor will monitor you during and after your docetaxel treatment. Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving this medication.
Docetaxel injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before using docetaxel injection:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to docetaxel injection, paclitaxel (Abraxane, Taxol), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in docetaxel injection.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antifungals such as itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox), ketoconazole, and voriconazole (Vfend); clarithromycin (Biaxin); HIV protease inhibitors including atazanavir (Reyataz), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), and saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase); medications containing alcohol (Nyquil, elixirs, others); medications for pain; nefazodone; sleeping pills; and telithromycin (no longer available in the US; Ketek). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with docetaxel injection, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or if you plan on fathering a child. You should not become pregnant while you are using docetaxel injection. If you are female, you will need to take a pregnancy test before you start treatment and use birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment and for 6 months after your last dose. If you are a male, you and your female partner should use birth control during your treatment and for 3 months after your final dose. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that you can use to prevent pregnancy during this time. If you or your partner become pregnant while using docetaxel injection, call your doctor immediately. Docetaxel injection may harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed while you are using docetaxel injection and for 2 weeks after the final dose.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using docetaxel injection.
- you should know that docetaxel injection may contain alcohol that could make you drowsy or affect your judgment, thinking, or motor skills. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
Docetaxel Injection Dosage
Docetaxel injection comes as a liquid to be given intravenously (into a vein) by a doctor or nurse in a hospital or clinic. It is usually given over 1 hour once every 3 weeks.
Your doctor will probably prescribe a steroid medication such as dexamethasone for you to take during each dosing cycle to help prevent certain side effects. Be sure to follow the directions carefully and take this medication exactly as prescribed. If you forget to take your medication or do not take it on schedule, be sure to tell your doctor before receiving your docetaxel injection.
Because certain docetaxel injection preparations contain alcohol, you may experience certain symptoms during or for 1–2 hours after your infusion. If you experience any of these symptoms, tell your doctor right away: confusion, stumbling, becoming very sleepy, or feeling like you are drunk.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.