Docetaxel (By injection)
Treats cancer, including breast, lung, prostate, stomach, and head and neck cancer.
DOCEtaxel NovaPlus, Docefrez, Taxotere
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side 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.
- Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
- You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- You will be given a steroid medicine for a few days to prevent side 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.
- Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Some medicines can affect how docetaxel works. Tell your doctor if you are using atazanavir, clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, telithromycin, or voriconazole.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, blood disorders, edema (fluid retention), or any type of infection.
- This medicine can cause the following problems:
- Serious allergic reactions
- Serious skin reactions
- Acute myeloid leukemia (a type of cancer)
- Changes in vision
- This medicine contains alcohol, and may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
- This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
- Cancer medicine can cause nausea or vomiting, sometimes even after you receive medicine to prevent these effects. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control any nausea or vomiting that might happen.
- Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
- Blurred vision, loss of vision
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
- Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
- Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
- Severe tiredness or weakness
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Hair loss
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation
- Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed
- Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last reviewed on 1/27/2017
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