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

Paclitaxel (Trade name: Taxol)

Paclitaxel is a chemotherapy medication used in the treatment of breast cancer. It is commonly sold under the brand name Taxol, and is also used to treat ovarian cancer, lung cancer, kaposi sarcoma, cervical cancer, and pancreatic cancer. It is administered intravenously.

Etoposide (Trade name: VP-16, Toposar, VePesid, etopophos)

Availability, dosage and administration of Paclitaxel

Paclitaxel is not available in pill form. It is only available as vials, and administered as either an injection, or as an intravenous (IV) drip.

The amount of Paclitaxel and the schedule that it is given on, depends on factors such as the patient’s height and weight, their general health condition and the stage of breast cancer being treated.

Side effects of Paclitaxel

The most common side effects of Paclitaxel are:

  • Low blood counts (RBCs and WBCs)
  • Hair loss
  • Pain in the joints and muscles
  • Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet
  • Mild-severe nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth sores
  • Hypersensitivity-induced fever and chills, facial flushing, redness
  • Shortness of breath

Precautions to be taken:

  • Discuss all current prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements with your doctor before starting a Paclitaxel regimen.
  • Avoid any form of immunization or vaccination while on a Paclitaxel regimen.
  • Paclitaxel is not recommended for pregnant women.
  • Women should avoid breastfeeding while on a Paclitaxel regimen.

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