Taxotere is an FDA approved drug for use in chemotherapy. It is classified as a “plant alkaloid,” “taxane” and “antimicrotubuloe agent.” Known by the generic name doxetacel, taxotere has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the following use:
- Treatment of breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, advanced stomach cancer, head and neck cancer, and metastatic prostate cancer
- Likewise it is under investigation for treatment of small cell lung, ovarian, bladder, and pancreatic cancer, soft tissue, and melanoma.
Taxotere is administered to the patient through the use of intravenous vein. Pill form of the drug is not available. The amount of the drug that will be administered to a patient will depend on several factors which includes height and weight, general health and other health issues and the type of cancer being treated. The doctor will be the one to determine the dosage and set the schedule.
As for the side effects, most patients do not experience the side effects that are listed. The good news is that most of the side effects are almost always reversible in terms of their onset and duration. There is a wide range of options that can help reduce or prevent the spread of side effects. Aside from chemotherapy caused permanent hair loss, other side effects of taxotere include low white blood cell count and low red blood cell count. There is also fluid retention, peripheral neuropathy, nausea, diarrhea, to name just a few.
So when do you know that it is time to call a healthcare provider or doctor? When the patient has a fever of more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or has chills. The latter may indicate possible signs of infection. The following symptoms may also require medical attention.
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Black or tarry stools, or blood in stools or urine
- Extreme fatigue
- Mouth sores
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Swollen ankle, weight gain, swelling stomach
- Shortness of breath