What is this medicine?
DOCETAXEL (doe se TAX el) is a chemotherapy drug. It targets fast dividing cells, like cancer cells, and causes these cells to die. This medicine is used to treat many types of cancers like breast cancer, certain stomach cancers, head and neck cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer.
How should I use this medicine?
This drug is given as an infusion into a vein. It is administered in a hospital or clinic by a specially trained health care professional.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
changes in vision
low blood counts - This drug may decrease the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk for infections and bleeding.
nausea and vomiting
pain, redness or irritation at site where injected
pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
signs of decreased platelets or bleeding - bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, black, tarry stools, nosebleeds
signs of decreased red blood cells - unusually weak or tired, fainting spells, lightheadedness
signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
swelling of the ankle, feet, hands
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
What may interact with this medicine?
certain antibiotics like erythromycin or clarithromycin
certain antivirals for HIV or hepatitis
certain medicines for fungal infections like fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, or voriconazole
What if I miss a dose?
It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.
Where should I keep my medicine?
This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
low blood counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
an unusual or allergic reaction to docetaxel, polysorbate 80, other chemotherapy agents, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. You will need important blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
Some products may contain alcohol. Ask your health care professional if this medicine contains alcohol. Be sure to tell all health care professionals you are taking this medicine. Certain medicines, like metronidazole and disulfiram, can cause an unpleasant reaction when taken with alcohol. The reaction includes flushing, headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and increased thirst. The reaction can last from 30 minutes to several hours.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine.
Talk to your health care professional about your risk of cancer. You may be more at risk for certain types of cancer if you take this medicine.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine or for 6 months after stopping it. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine or for 1 to 2 weeks after stopping it.
Males who get this medicine must use a condom during sex with females who can get pregnant. If you get a woman pregnant, the baby could have birth defects. The baby could die before they are born. You will need to continue wearing a condom for 3 months after stopping the medicine. Tell your health care provider right away if your partner becomes pregnant while you are taking this medicine.
This may interfere with the ability to father a child. You should talk to your doctor or health care professional if you are concerned about your fertility.