Where is Docetaxel used?
Docetaxel is used for the treatment of:
- Breast cancer
This is used in patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. It is after a failure or before chemotherapy.
- Non-small cell lung cancer
Docefrez as a single agent is used in patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. This is used in combination with cisplatin.
- Prostate cancer
This is used in combination with prednisone. This is used to treat patients with androgen-independent (hormone-refractory) metastatic prostate cancer.
Docetaxel is an antineoplastic agent belonging to the taxoid family. It is a white to an almost white powder. This is available for intravenous use. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved this medication.
How does Docetaxel work?
Docetaxel works by attacking the cancer cells. Every cell in the body has a supporting structure which is called the microtubular network. It is almost like a skeleton. When this skeleton is damaged or changed, the cell can’t reproduce. This medication makes the skeleton in cancer cells abnormally stiff so that these cells can no longer grow.
How is Docetaxel taken?
This is given intravenously by a healthcare professional. The range of the dosage is from 60 mg/m2 to 100 mg/m2 every 3 weeks. It is used along with other chemotherapy agents.
Your doctor may prescribe pre-medications like corticosteroids (dexamethasone) to prevent the side effects. These are generally started a day before the treatment and continued for a total of 3 days. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions to prepare for your treatment. If you forget to take your pre-medication or you do not take it on schedule, let your doctor know before starting taking this medication.
What are the possible side effects of Docetaxel?
- Vomiting, nausea, diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Constipation, muscle or joint pain
- Feeling weak or tired
- Mouth sores
- Hair loss
- Watery eyes or eye redness
- Feeling short of breath
- Altered sense of taste
Call your doctor right away if these happen:
- Sudden vision problems
- Redness or peeling of the skin on your arms or legs
- Burning, numbness, or tingling in your hands or feet
- Muscle weakness in your arms or legs
- A feeling of being drunk (stumbling, confusion, or extreme drowsiness)
What are the precautions in taking Docetaxel?
- This may not be recommended for breastfeeding women. Consult your doctor first before having this treatment.
- Let your doctor if you are allergic to it or if you have any allergies.
- Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.
- Do not have vaccinations or immunizations without the consent of your doctor and avoid contact with people who have recently received the oral polio vaccine.
- Use caution with sharp objects like nail cutters razors and avoid activities such as contact sports to lower the chance of getting injured, cut, or bruised.
- Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, anemia, diarrhea, swelling, infection, weight loss, mouth sores.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while taking this medicine. This may harm an unborn baby. Your doctor should order a pregnancy test before you start this medication.