Docetaxel (By injection)
Treats cancer, including breast, lung, prostate, stomach, and head and neck cancer.
DOCEtaxel NovaPlusThere may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to docetaxel or polysorbate 80, if you are pregnant, or if you have a low white blood cell count.
How to Use This Medicine:
- Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein. The medicine must be given slowly, so the needle will have to remain in place for at least 1 hour.
- You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- Your doctor will give you a steroid medicine before each treatment to prevent unwanted effects. Carefully follow the instructions about how to take the steroid. If you forget to take the steroid, tell your doctor before you receive the dose.
- Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Some medicines can affect how docetaxel works. Tell your doctor if you are using atazanavir, clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, telithromycin, or voriconazole.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:
- This medicine may cause birth defects if either partner is using it during conception or pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control during treatment with this medicine and for 6 months after the last dose. Male patients with female partners should use an effective form of birth control during treatment and for 3 months after the last dose.
- Do not breastfeed during treatment with this medicine and for 1 week after the last dose.
- Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, blood disorders, edema (fluid retention), eye or vision problems, any type of infection, or if you had an allergic reaction to paclitaxel.
- This medicine can cause the following problems:
- Stomach or bowel problems (including enterocolitis, neutropenic colitis), which may be life-threatening
- Fluid retention (body is keeping too much water)
- Increased risk for other cancers (including leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, lymphoma, kidney cancer)
- Serious skin reactions
- Nerve problems (including peripheral neuropathy)
- Eye or vision problems
- Tumor lysis syndrome (electrolyte and metabolic problem that can be life-threatening)
- This medicine contains alcohol, and may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Talk with your doctor before receiving this medicine if you plan to have children. Some men who receive this medicine have become infertile (unable to have children).
- Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
- This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
- Cancer medicine can cause nausea or vomiting, sometimes even after you receive medicine to prevent these effects. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control any nausea or vomiting that might happen.
- Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
- Blurred vision, loss of vision
- Chest pain, trouble breathing
- Dizziness or fainting
- Fast, uneven heartbeat
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
- Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
- Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
- Severe stomach pain, vomiting, watery or bloody diarrhea
- Severe tiredness or weakness
- Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Change in taste, decreased appetite
- Hair loss, nail changes
- Joint or muscle pain
- Nausea, constipation
- Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Last Updated: 3/29/2022