Docetaxel (Intravenous route)
Treatment-related mortality increases with abnormal liver function, at higher doses, and in patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma and a history of prior treatment with platinum-based therapy receiving docetaxel at 100 mg/m(2). Docetaxel should generally not be given to patients with bilirubin greater than the ULN, or to patients with AST and/or ALT greater than 1.5 x ULN concomitant with alkaline phosphatase greater than 2.5 x ULN. These patients are at increased risk for developing severe or life-threatening toxicities. Monitor LFTs prior to each treatment cycle. Docetaxel therapy should not be given to patients with neutrophil counts of less than 1500 cells/mm(3); obtain frequent blood counts to monitor for neutropenia. Severe hypersensitivity reactions, including fatal anaphylaxis, has been reported in patients who received dexamethasone premedication. Use is contraindicated in patients with a severe hypersensitivity to docetaxel or polysorbate 80. Severe fluid retention may occur .
Uses of This Medicine:
Docetaxel injection is used to treat breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, head and neck cancer, gastric (stomach) cancer, and prostate cancer. Docetaxel might be used together with other cancer medicines.
Docetaxel belongs to the group of medicines called antineoplastics (cancer medicines). It interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed by the body. Since the growth of normal cells may also be affected by docetaxel, other unwanted effects will also occur.
This medicine is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in the product labeling, docetaxel injection is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
Before Using This Medicine:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of docetaxel injection in children.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of docetaxel injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted effects and age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving docetaxel injection.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems—
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine:
Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many unwanted effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
You will receive this medicine in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
You will also be given a steroid medicine for a few days to prevent unwanted effects from docetaxel. Carefully follow the instructions about how to take the steroid. If you forget to take the steroid, tell your doctor before you receive the dose.
This medicine should come with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Precautions While Using This Medicine:
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Docetaxel can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, fever or chills, trouble breathing or swallowing, a fast or irregular heartbeat, or any swelling of your hands, face, mouth, or throat with this medicine.
Docetaxel may cause edema or fluid retention, which means your body is keeping too much water. Check with your doctor right away if you have a rapid weight gain, shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, extreme tiredness or weakness, irregular breathing, an irregular heartbeat, or excessive swelling of the hands, wrist, ankles, or feet.
Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or a red skin rash on your arms or legs after receiving this medicine.
Check with your doctor right away if you have burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. These could be symptoms of a condition called peripheral neuropathy.
Tell your doctor right away if you have vision changes, such as blurred vision, difficulty reading, or eye pain with this medicine. These could be symptoms of a serious eye problem called cystoid macular edema.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Side Effects of This Medicine:
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Last Updated: 4/4/2014
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