Paclitaxel

Generic Name: Paclitaxel (PAK-li-tax-el)Brand Name: Onxol and Taxol

Paclitaxel must be administered in an appropriate medical setting. Serious allergic reactions, some fatal, have occurred with use of Paclitaxel . DO NOT use Paclitaxel again if you have experienced a severe allergic reaction to it. Stop using Paclitaxel and notify your doctor immediately if you develop signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash; itching; severe dizziness; swelling of hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; or hoarseness. Certain patients with solid tumors or AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma should not use Paclitaxel . Frequent blood tests should be performed while you are using Paclitaxel because of the risk of bone marrow suppression and serious infection.

Paclitaxel is used for:

Treating ovary and breast cancer. It may be used for other types of cancer as determined by your doctor, which may not be listed in the professional package insert.

Paclitaxel is a chemotherapy medicine. It works by slowing or stopping cancer cells from dividing and growing, so they eventually die.

Do NOT use Paclitaxel if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Paclitaxel
  • you have extremely low white blood cell counts (eg, extremely low neutrophil counts)
  • you have shingles or chickenpox

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Paclitaxel :

Some medical conditions may interact with Paclitaxel . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a bacterial or viral infection, HIV infection, liver or kidney problems, a history of heart problems or heart attack, bone marrow problems, or blood problems (low platelet or neutrophil counts)
  • if you are undergoing radiation therapy
  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction to an insect sting

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Paclitaxel . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Cisplatin or ketoconazole because side effects of Paclitaxel may be increased
  • Doxorubicin or warfarin because side effects may be increased by Paclitaxel

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Paclitaxel may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Paclitaxel :

Use Paclitaxel as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Paclitaxel may come with an additional patient leaflet. Read it carefully and reread it each time you get Paclitaxel refilled.
  • Paclitaxel is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions that you may have about Paclitaxel .
  • If nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite occurs, do not discontinue your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for ways to lessen these effects.
  • Wear gloves while handling Paclitaxel .
  • If you get Paclitaxel on your skin, rinse the area thoroughly with soap and water. If you get Paclitaxel in your eyes, nose, or mouth, flush the area thoroughly with water.
  • If you miss a dose of Paclitaxel , contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Paclitaxel .

Important safety information:

  • Serious allergic reactions, some fatal, have occurred with use of Paclitaxel . You will need to take certain other medicines before using Paclitaxel in order to lessen the risk of allergic reaction. Stop using Paclitaxel and notify your doctor immediately if you develop signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash; itching; severe dizziness; swelling of hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; or hoarseness.
  • Some patients develop redness or sores in the mouth or on the lips. These symptoms may occur a few days after treatment with Paclitaxel and usually decrease or disappear in 1 week. Talk with your doctor about proper mouth care and other ways to prevent or reduce this side effect.
  • Paclitaxel may cause dizziness or vision changes. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Paclitaxel . Using Paclitaxel alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Paclitaxel contains alcohol, which may interact with the effects of other medicines. Alcohol in other beverages or medicines may increase this effect. Before you begin taking any new prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read the ingredients to see if it also contains alcohol. If it does or if you are uncertain, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Paclitaxel may lower your body's ability to fight infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rashes, or chills. Also, do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have thoroughly washed your hands first.
  • Paclitaxel may reduce the number of blood cells that are needed for clotting. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in the stool, or dark, tarry stools immediately to your doctor.
  • If you have not had chickenpox or measles, avoid contact with anyone who has either of these diseases or shingles.
  • Check with your doctor before having immunizations (vaccinations).
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Paclitaxel .
  • LAB TESTS, including blood counts, vital signs (such as pulse and blood pressure), and liver function tests, will be required to monitor your progress and check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Caution is advised when using Paclitaxel in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to the effects of Paclitaxel , especially effects on the bone marrow (myelosuppression).
  • Paclitaxel is not recommended for use in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • Women of childbearing age should use an effective form of birth control (eg, condoms) while using Paclitaxel .
  • PREGNANCY AND BREAST-FEEDING: Paclitaxel has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Paclitaxel during pregnancy. It is unknown if Paclitaxel is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using Paclitaxel .

Possible side effects of Paclitaxel :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Cough; diarrhea; general feeling of discomfort; hair loss; mild discomfort, redness, or swelling at the injection site; mild joint or muscle pain; nausea; numbness, tingling, or burning of your arms, hands, legs, or feet; redness and/or sores on the mouth or lips; unusual weakness or tiredness; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty swallowing or breathing; tightness in the chest; flushing; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat; hoarseness); blistering, swelling, redness, severe pain, or open sores on your skin or at the injection site; change in the amount of urine produced; chest pain; eye swelling or irritation; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, sore throat); hearing trouble or loss of hearing; pale appearance; redness, swelling, or tenderness in the calf; ringing in the ears; seizures; severe joint or muscle pain; severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; severe numbness, tingling, or burning in the arms, hands, legs, or feet; severe stomach pain; swelling of arms, hands, legs, or feet; sudden or severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; unusual bruising or bleeding; vision changes or blurred vision.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Paclitaxel :

Store Paclitaxel as directed on the prescription label. Keep Paclitaxel out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Paclitaxel , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Paclitaxel is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Paclitaxel . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • Paclitaxel Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Paclitaxel Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • paclitaxel Intravenous Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Onxol Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Taxol Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Taxol Consumer Overview