Taxotere is a chemotherapy medication. It has been approved for the utilization involving the treatment of cancers of the breast, stomach and even head and neck. The chemical name for Taxotere is Docetaxel, and its class is within Taxane chemotherapy. Others also in the taxane family are called Taxol and Abraxane. The way it operates is by inhibiting the division process of cancer cells. It is given intravenously, but there are side effects.
Side effects include the lowering of white blood cells while increasing one’s body to infection. It also causes the accumulation of fluid and has a high propensity to cause allergic reactions. It can make hair fall out (see: Can Taxotere cause me to suffer permanent hair loss?) and can also create tingle feelings such as pins and needles or numbness. Taxotere can cause one to experience the sensation of wanting to vomit, and it can also force one to heave, retch and gag. This medication can cause an impaction of feces and also changes within the taste buds. It can cause one to feel extremely tired in addition to muscle aches and pains.
A patient may also experience profound pain within the bone unit or joints. Sores within the oral cavity or throat can develop, as well as the addition of eyes that are excessively watering and changes within the nail bed. Taxotere can cause periods that are not normal or even stop menstrual cycles altogether. Taxotere can cause a reaction at the site where the injection was administered, and these can resemble red coloration, pain and the ballooning up of the skin area. A patient may lose the want to eat.
A skilled doctor may give the patient medications to offset some of these side effects. Corticosteroids can prevent edema and retention of fluids, and it can even help with reactions of the allergic kind. Some of the allergic feedback that can occur are wheezing, anaphylaxis and even heart attack symptoms. Giving a patient an antihistamine before infusion begins helps reduce reaction severity.
The fluid retention mentioned above occurs due to the capillaries increased permeability that results in fluid leakage around the tissue surrounding the affected area. Another side effect that can happen is a bilateral interstitial lung disease that occurs after Taxotere is administered. The rate of toxicity of the pulmonary area is increased when the patient is also given medication like gemcitabine or if they are subjected to radiation. A possible long-term side effect is neuropathy, as mentioned earlier with the numb feeling in the hands and feet. Sometimes a physician may give the patient an anticonvulsant medication like Gabapentin to help the patient feel relief.
In the end, Docetaxel is effective in fighting cancer of the breast area, especially in countries that are developed. Most side effects are treatable and stop when the medication is no longer needed. A patient should always be fully informed about side effects regarding potent drugs, such as Taxotere. A patient and physician should weigh the pros and cons of such a medication against the ailment they are trying to treat.