PACLITAXEL (PAK li TAX el) is a chemotherapy drug. It targets fast dividing cells, like cancer cells, and causes these cells to die. This medicine is used to treat ovarian cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, Kaposi's sarcoma, and other cancers.
This drug is given as an infusion into a vein. It is administered in a hospital or clinic by a specially trained health care professional.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
changes in vision
fast, irregular heartbeat
high or low blood pressure
pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
signs of decreased platelets or bleeding - bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine
signs of decreased red blood cells - unusually weak or tired, feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
swelling of the ankles, feet, hands
unusually slow heartbeat
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
loss of appetite
muscle or joint pain
pain, redness, or irritation at site where injected
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
antiviral medicines for hepatitis, HIV or AIDS
certain antibiotics like erythromycin and clarithromycin
certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
certain medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
St. John's wort
It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.
This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
history of irregular heartbeat
low blood counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
lung or breathing disease, like asthma
tingling of the fingers or toes, or other nerve disorder
an unusual or allergic reaction to paclitaxel, alcohol, polyoxyethylated castor oil, other chemotherapy, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. You will need important blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
This medicine can cause serious allergic reactions. To reduce your risk you will need to take other medicine(s) before treatment with this medicine. If you experience allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue, tell your doctor or health care professional right away.
In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.
This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.
Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.
Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.
Men are advised not to father a child while receiving this medicine.
This product may contain alcohol. Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider if this medicine contains alcohol. Be sure to tell all healthcare providers you are taking this medicine. Certain medicines, like metronidazole and disulfiram, can cause an unpleasant reaction when taken with alcohol. The reaction includes flushing, headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and increased thirst. The reaction can last from 30 minutes to several hours.