Brand Name(s): Docefrez, Taxotere
Drug Class: Microtubule Inhibitors
Treats: Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Prostate Cancer
Docetaxel is used in the treatment of certain kinds of cancer, including breast, prostate, head, neck, stomach and non-small cell lung cancers. As an antineoplastic agent, the drug operates in the body by preventing the growth and replication of cancer cells.
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Docetaxel is used as a chemotherapy drug and treats many cancers. Below you will find the uses for docetaxel.
- Breast cancer
- Head and neck cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Stomach cancer
Dosage of docetaxel depends on the individual and the condition being treated. Depending upon the type of cancer being treated, docetaxel may be accompanied by other drugs and/or radiation. Docetaxel is an IV medication and will be given and monitored by your health professional. Below are some typical dosages of docetaxel.
- Lung cancer: 75 mg per square meter of skin surface, delivered by IV every three weeks
- Breast cancer: 60 to 100 mg per square meter of skin surface, delivered by IV every three weeks
- Prostate cancer: 75 mg per square meter of skin surface, delivered by IV every three weeks
- Stomach cancer: 75 mg per square meter of skin surface, delivered by IV every three weeks
- Head and neck cancer: 75 mg per square meter of skin surface, delivered by IV every three weeks
Docetaxel Side Effects
Some patients may experience side effects, both mild and severe. This list is not exhaustive, but you should contact a doctor immediately if you experience the following.
- Tingling or numbness in the extremities
- Unusual fatigue
- Rapid heartbeat
- Fluid retention in the extremities
- Chest pain
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Unexplained weight gain
- Hives or skin rash
- Swelling, particularly of the face, lips or tongue
- Abdominal swelling
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
This drug may have adverse effects, including potentially fatal side effects, for patients who have liver problems, and those who have received platinum-based chemo drugs in the treatment of lung cancer. As with all drugs, before taking this medication, you should make your doctor aware of any medications you may be taking, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as supplements and herbal remedies. You should also let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and if you have any allergies to drugs or foods. Below is a list of possible interactions with docetaxel. Note that this list is not complete.