Docetaxel is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat cancer of the breast, lung, stomach, prostate, head and neck.
Docetaxel is to be given intravenously (into the vein) by infusion. It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Docetaxel.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- white blood cells level that is too low
- severe liver disease
as Docetaxel may not be suitable for you.
Do not use this medicine if you ever had an allergic reaction (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to similar medicines.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- swelling in the hands, feet and legs
- problems with your eyesight/vision
- lung problems
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is important that you do not get pregnant while being treated with this medicine. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor or pharmacist.
This medicine will cause the level of your white blood cells to drop.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Alert your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. You will need to have regular blood tests to check your blood counts as well as your liver function. Your doctor may need to adjust the next dose of Docetaxel based on these results. Your doctor will advise you on how often you will need to have these tests.
Docetaxel contains alcohol which may affect your ability to drive or use machinery. Do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: hair loss, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, muscle pain, fluid retention, fever.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor immediately if you experience:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
- signs of infections e.g. fever, chills
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- dark urine, yellow skin or eyes, feeling tired, stomach pain or throwing up
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- antibiotics e.g. clarithromycin, rifampicin
- medicines for seizures epilepsy (seizures or fits) e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine
- St. John's wort (herbal medicine used to treat depression)
- other anti-cancer medicines that affects blood cell formation in the bone marrow
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Docetaxel.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
As the storage temperatures are product specific, please check with your healthcare professional on how it should be stored.
Protect from light. Light may cause the medication to lose some of its effectiveness.
Keep away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As this is a cancer medicine, any unused or expired vials should be handed to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.