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docetaxel (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving docetaxel (Docefrez, Taxotere)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to docetaxel, or to drugs made with polysorbate 80.

To make sure you can safely receive docetaxel, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • heart disease, congestive heart failure;
  • fluid retention or swelling problems; or
  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction to docetaxel.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use docetaxel if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether docetaxel passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while receiving docetaxel.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medicine.

How is docetaxel given (Docefrez, Taxotere)?

Docetaxel is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Docetaxel must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 1 hour to complete. You may receive other cancer medicines at the same time.

Docetaxel is usually given once every 3 weeks, depending on the type of cancer being treated. Follow your doctor's instructions.

You may need to take a steroid medicine for a few days before your docetaxel injection. This may help prevent certain side effects of docetaxel. Try not to miss any doses of your steroid medication.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when docetaxel is injected.

Docetaxel can be harmful if it gets on your skin during an IV infusion. If this happens, wash right away with soap and water.

Docetaxel can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill.

To make sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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