Brand name: Taxotere®
alkaloid, taxane and antimicrotubule agent
Manufacturer / Distributor:
Taxotere is available
by prescription only
FDA Approval: Docetaxel (Taxotere 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: Taxotere is used alone or in
combination with other chemotherapy drugs to treat the following cancers:
- head and
cell lung cancer
- Ovarian cancer.
Taxotere may be used in the
treatment of other medical conditions; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Dosage form: Taxotere is given by injection into a
Dosage: to determine a dose capable of
fighting your cancer, your oncologist will consider your age, health status, and body surface area (BSA). If you are undergoing
therapy or taking other medications, you will be prescribed a lower dosage of Taxotere.
Taxotere 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 Taxotere adverse reactions can be life threatening.
of complications is higher for patients who had liver disease or have been treated with cisplatin (Platinol) or
Usually, Taxotere 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. Taxotere should be given by an oncologist or
health care professional that has experience in chemotherapy drugs. In addition, It is recommended that Taxotere is
administered in a hospital or a health center having sterilization material for its preparation.
Overdose: Taxotere is given in hospital by
professionals; the risk of overdose is very difficult. However,
accidental overdose can happen. An overdose of Taxotere 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, Taxotere 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 Taxotere can affect the entire therapy.
Taxotere is contraindicated or not recommended in these conditions:
allergy to Taxotere or to any of its components
low number of white blood
severe hepatic impairment.
Mechanism of action (MOA): Taxotere
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 taxotere, 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 Taxotere,
and cause health problems.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of these medications:
In addition to attacking
cells, Taxotere may interfere with healthy cells that multiply quickly, and cause a number of adverse reactions
in most patients. Most common Taxotere side effects include:
- sores on
your lips or mouth
or limb pain
- redness or swelling at
the injection site
- White horizontal
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
- fast or
irregular heart beat
- black or
- blood in
shortness of breath
pain in the lower back or along the side accompanied with fever or chills
occurring during or shortly after your treatment
breathing at rest
Cough or hoarseness accompanied with fever and/or chills.