Docetaxel Drug For Breast Cancer – Uses, Side Effects And Precautions

Docetaxel (Trade name: Taxotere)

Docetaxel is taxane-derivative chemotherapy drug, used in the treatment of early, locally advanced and metastatic breast cancer. It is an anti-microtubule agent. Other uses are in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, advanced stomach cancer, head and neck cancers, soft tissue sarcoma, ovarian cancer, metastatic prostate cancer, etc.

Breast cancer chemotherapy drip with Pertuzumab
Functioning IV drip hanging on a pole in hospital, with LED surgical lights in the background. Patient, illness, treatment, hospital, medicine and healthcare abstract and concept.

Side effects of Docetaxel

The common side effects of Docetaxel are:

  1. Myelosuppression ( decreased hemoglobin, WBC and platelet count)
  2. Hypersensitivity reaction to the drug
  3. Fluid retention syndrome
  4. Alopecia
  5. Peripheral neuropathy
  6. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  7. Generalised fatigue
  8. Skin rash, dry and itchy skin
  9. Administration and dosage of Docetaxel

Docetaxel is administered only through a vein (intravenously, IV), and is not available as an oral pill/capsule. Usually, a corticosteroid pill is given before docetaxel infusion, in order to reduce the severity of fluid retention and other possible allergic reactions. The amount of docetaxel administered via chemotherapy depends on factors such as the height and weight (body surface area) of each specific patient. The usual dosage is 75 mg/m2 given every 3 weekly.

Precautions to be taken

  1. Use with caution in patient with abnormal liver function tests
  2. Premedication is given to avoid hypersensitivity reactions
  3. Closely monitor with CBC for myelosuppression
  4. Contraindicated during pregnancy
  5. Breastfeeding should be avoided

Related Posts: