Taxotere

Generic Name: Docetaxel

  • What is Taxotere?

    Taxotere is used to treat both locally advanced and metastatic breast cancer. It is also used alone and in combination with cisplatin for the treatment of advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Taxotere is used in combination with prednisone for the treatment of hormone refractory metastatic prostate cancer. It can also be used in combination with cisplatin and fluorouracil for untreated, advanced gastric adenocarcinoma and for locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Taxotere can delay the progression of certain types of cancer by attacking cancer cells in your body.
  • What is the most important information I should know about Taxotere?

    Taxotere treatment can cause serious, physically limiting and sometimes life-threatening side effects such as infection, allergic reaction, and fluid retention (edema). Since Taxotere can cause harm to the unborn baby, women of childbearing potential should not get pregnant while taking Taxotere.
  • Who should not take Taxotere?

    Do not begin treatment with Taxotere if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, or if you have a very low white blood cell count.
  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Taxotere?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Taxotere. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver problems, you are pregnant or nursing, or have low white blood cell count.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Breast Cancer

    Adults: The recommended dose of Taxotere is 60 to 100 milligrams (mg)/m2 administered through an IV over 1 hour every 3 weeks.

    Gastric Adenocarcinoma

    Adults: The recommended dose of Taxotere is 75 mg/m2 as a 1 hour IV infusion, followed by cisplatin 75 mg/m2, as a 1 to 3 hour IV infusion (both on Day 1 only), followed by fluorouracil 750 mg/m2 per day given as a 24-hour continuous IV infusion for 5 days, starting at the end of the cisplatin infusion. Treatment is repeated every 3 weeks.

    Head and Neck Cancer

    Adults: For chemotherapy that will be followed by radiotherapy, the recommended dosing is Taxotere 75 mg/m2 as a 1 hour infusion followed by cisplatin 75 mg/m2 intravenously for 1 hour, on Day 1, followed by fluorouracil as a continuous IV infusion at 750 mg/m2 per day for 5 days. This regimen is repeated every 3 weeks for 4 cycles. For chemotherapy that will be followed by chemoradiotherapy, the recommended dosing is Taxotere 75 mg/m2 as a 1 hour infusion on day 1, followed by cisplatin 100 mg/m2 administered as a 30-minute to 3-hour infusion, followed by fluorouracil 1000 mg/m2/day as a continuous IV infusion from Day 1 to Day 4. This regimen is repeated every 3 weeks for 3 cycles.

    Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

    Adults: For treatment after other chemotherapies have failed, the recommended dose is 75 mg/m2 administered by IV over 1 hour every 3 weeks. For initial treatment without having used other chemotherapies previously, the recommended dose is 75 mg/m2 administered by IV over 1 hour immediately followed by cisplatin 75 mg/m2 over 30 to 60 minutes every 3 weeks.

    Prostate Cancer

    Adults: For prostate cancer, the recommended dose of Taxotere is 75 mg/m2 every 3 weeks as a 1 hour IV. Prednisone 5 mg orally twice daily is also given.

    To reduce certain side effects, your doctor will prescribe another medicine called dexamethasone, which is usually started 1 day prior to your chemotherapy treatment with Taxotere and continued for a total of 3 days. It is important that you take dexamethasone according to the schedule set by your doctor.

  • How should I take Taxotere?

    This medication will be given through an IV line by your doctor. Be sure to keep track of your weight fluctuations, and report to your doctor if you have been losing weight. Also, take your temperature frequently; if you do have a fever, contact your doctor immediately.
  • What should I avoid while taking Taxotere?

    Avoid taking any medication that has not been prescribed by your doctor. Also, be careful about going to crowded places or being around people that are sick, since your immune system is not as strong while on this therapy.
  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Taxotere?

    If Taxotere is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Taxotere with any other drug. And let any healthcare professional treating you know that you are receiving chemotherapy with Taxotere.
  • What are the possible side effects of Taxotere?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: excessive tearing, fatigue, hair loss, mouth and throat irritation, muscle pain, nail changes, nausea, odd sensations (such as numbness, tingling, burning sensations, or weakness in the hands and feet), rash, severe diarrhea, vomiting

  • Can I receive Taxotere if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing. You should not begin therapy with Taxotere if you are pregnant, as this drug will cause severe harm to your unborn child. Also, do not breastfeed while receiving Taxotere, as it is unknown if it will pass into your breast milk.
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Taxotere?

    If you forget to take your dexamethasone, or do not take it on schedule, make sure to tell your healthcare team before you receive your Taxotere treatment.
  • How should I store Taxotere?

    Taxotere is administered in an office setting and will be stored by your healthcare provider.