by Team Onco

Drug Name: Docetaxel

Drug Class: It is a chemotherapy drug

Available under the brand name: Taxotere

What Is It Prescribed For?  

  • Breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body
  • Non-small cell lung cancer 
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer that has spread to other body parts
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Stomach cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Soft tissue sarcoma (cancer that mostly affects soft tissues of arms, legs, chest, and abdomen)
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Melanoma (a type of skin cancer)

How Is It Given?

It is given as an infusion into a vein over one hour once every 3 weeks.

What Are Common Side Effects?

You may face some of these side effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood cell count 
  • Infection
  • Allergic reactions 
  • Changes in taste
  • Fluid retention syndrome
  • Skin rashes, dry skin, itchy skin
  • Hair loss
  • Inflammation and soreness of mouth and gut
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness and pain, usually in the hands and feet
  • Tiredness

Your doctor can prescribe medication to control these side effects. Docetaxel may also cause other side effects. If you face any unusual or serious problems, inform your doctor immediately. 

Who Should Avoid Taking This Drug?

Patients with the following characteristics should avoid taking this drug:

  • Hypersensitivity to Docetaxel or Polysorbate 80 (an agent that is used in foods, cosmetics, injectable medications as a preservative or disinfectant)
  • Low levels of neutrophils (a kind of white blood cells)

How Much Does This Drug Cost?

Available in 20mg, 80mg, 120mg, and 160mg vials. Depending on the brand, the cost of Docetaxel 20mg can range between INR 2500 – INR 7000 per vial.

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