Brand name: Taxotere®
alkaloid, taxane and antimicrotubule agent
Manufacturer / Distributor:
Docetaxel is available
by prescription only
Approval: Docetaxel (Docetaxel
injection) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2006 for the treatment of
inoperable, locally advanced head
and neck cancers (the drug is used for other conditions, see indication).
Indication: Docetaxel is used alone or in
combination with other chemotherapy drugs to treat the following cancers:
cell lung cancer
Docetaxel may be
used in the treatment of other medical conditions; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more
Docetaxel is given by
injection into a vein
Dosage: to determine a dose capable of
cancer, your oncologist will
consider your age, health status, and body surface area (BSA).
If you are undergoing radiation therapy or taking other medications, you will be prescribed a lower dosage of
Docetaxel. Docetaxel is always associated with adverse reactions. Before receiving the injection, your physician
may give you a drug (dexamethasone for instance) that will alleviate the symptoms of these adverse effects.
Therefore, it is you experience any unexpected or adverse reactions during the therapy, see your doctor
immediately. Certain Docetaxel adverse reactions can be life
The risk of complications is higher
for patients who had liver disease or have been treated with cisplatin (Platinol) or carboplatin (Paraplatin).
Usually, Docetaxel is injected into a vein from an injection site on the skin that has been prepared beforehand.
The injection is given once every 3 weeks and lasts approximately 1 hour. Docetaxel should be given by an
oncologist or health care professional that has experience in chemotherapy drugs. In addition, It is recommended
that Docetaxel is administered in a hospital or a health center having sterilization material for its
Overdose: Docetaxel is given in hospital by
professionals; the risk of overdose is very difficult. However,
accidental overdose can happen. An overdose of Docetaxel can cause a decrease in the number of blood cells in
the bone marrow, and lead to severe health problems or death. Even
in the absence of overdose, Docetaxel can cause severe allergic reactions and fluid retention. Before starting
the treatment, tell your doctor all details about your medical history. During and after the treatment,
compliance with all appointments with your doctor is necessary. Regular testing can help detect abnormalities in
early stage before they become life threatening conditions.
Missing dose -
administered in hospital; it is basically difficult for you to miss any dose if you keep all appointments of
your doctor. If for some reasons you cannot go to the hospital for the treatment, contact your oncologist
before the date scheduled for the injection. Any missing dose of Docetaxel can affect the entire therapy.
Docetaxel is contraindicated or not recommended in these conditions:
allergy to Docetaxel or to any of its components
low number of white blood
severe hepatic impairment.
Mechanism of action (MOA): Docetaxel
is a taxane;
it stops the
growth and spread of cancer cells by interfering with their DNA, a genetic material necessary for the growth and
reproduction of living cells.
Interactions: if you are taking Docetaxel, it is not
safe to take aspirin, vitamins, nutritional supplements or St. John's wort without first talking to your doctor.
Certain substances can interact with Docetaxel,
and cause health problems.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of these medications:
In addition to attacking
cells, Docetaxel may interfere with healthy cells that multiply quickly, and cause a number of adverse reactions
in most patients. Most common Docetaxel side effects include:
your lips or mouth
or limb pain
redness or swelling at the injection
White horizontal discoloration
of the nail
the side effects above persist for weeks, contact your oncologist. Also, contact your doctor if you experience any
of these symptoms:
in the hands and feet
bleeding or bruising
tingling, or burning sensation in the hands or feet
irregular heart beat
blood in urine
shortness of breath
pain in the lower back or along the side accompanied with fever or chills
occurring during or shortly after your treatment
difficulty breathing at rest
hoarseness accompanied with fever and/or chills.