Highlights for paclitaxel
paclitaxel Side Effects
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
- low blood counts - This drug may decrease the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk for infections and bleeding.
- signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
- signs of decreased platelets or bleeding - bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, black, tarry stools, nosebleeds
- signs of decreased red blood cells - unusually weak or tired, fainting spells, lightheadedness
- breathing problems
- chest pain
- high or low blood pressure
- mouth sores
- nausea and vomiting
- pain, swelling, redness or irritation at the injection site
- pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
- slow or irregular heartbeat
- swelling of the ankle, feet, hands
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- bone pain
- complete hair loss including hair on your head, underarms, pubic hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes
- changes in the color of fingernails
- loosening of the fingernails
- loss of appetite
- muscle or joint pain
- red flush to skin
paclitaxel May Interact with Other Medications
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- medicines to increase blood counts like filgrastim, pegfilgrastim, sargramostim
- other chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin, doxorubicin, epirubicin, etoposide, teniposide, vincristine
Talk to your doctor or health care professional before taking any of these medicines:
How to Use paclitaxel
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.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- blood disorders
- irregular heartbeat
- infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
- liver disease
- previous or ongoing radiation therapy
- an unusual or allergic reaction to paclitaxel, alcohol, polyoxyethylated castor oil, other chemotherapy agents, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.
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.
This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
Last Updated: October 18, 2016