Taxotere

(docetaxel)

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Treats cancer, including breast, prostate, lung, stomach, and head and neck cancer.

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Our bottom line

As with other chemotherapy, Taxotere (docetaxel) is linked with serious side effects but there has been over 2 decades of experience showing its effectiveness and safety in patients.

Quick facts about docetaxel
  • Drug class: Cancer
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (docetaxel)

Upsides

  • Taxotere (docetaxel) is a very effective medication in a variety of cancer types, shown to increase survival time and slow cancer progression.
  • Over 2 decades of experience and evidence for Taxotere (docetaxel) showing effectiveness in patients with cancer.
  • Available in generic.
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What to expect from docetaxel, on one page

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Downsides

  • Taxotere (docetaxel) can cause serious allergic reactions, swelling, liver damage, serious skin reactions, changes in vision, and in rare cases, a type of cancer (acute myeloid leukemia).
  • Some forms of Taxotere (docetaxel) contains alcohol and can cause you to feel dizzy and tired.
  • Can cause tingling/numbness/burning pain in hands and feet, bleeding/bruising, or infections.
  • Can cause nausea or vomiting.
  • Must receive Taxotere (docetaxel) by injection at a clinic or hospital.
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What to expect from docetaxel, on one page

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How it works

Prevents cancer cells from multiplying.

Quick facts about docetaxel
  • Drug class: Cancer
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (docetaxel)

Used for

Dosage forms

  • Injection
Tried docetaxel? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Taxotere (docetaxel) for Solid tumor cancers

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Death related to treatment
  • Liver toxicity
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Fluid retention
  • Alcohol intoxication
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Side effect rates for Taxotere (docetaxel)

From 2045 clinical trials of docetaxel when taken for all tumor types with normal liver function labs (100 mg/m^2)
  • Hair loss
    76%76%
  • Weakness
    62%62%
  • Mouth irritation
    42%42%
  • Nausea
    39%39%
  • Diarrhea
    39%39%
  • Severely low white blood cell count
    32%32%
  • Vomiting
    22%22%
  • Muscle pain
    19%19%
  • Low white blood cell count with infection/fever
    11%11%
  • Severely low red blood cell count
    9%9%
  • Joint pain
    9%9%
  • Low platelet cell count
    8%8%
  • Severe fluid retention with premedication
    7%7%
  • Severe infections
    6%6%
  • Injection site reaction
    4%4%
  • Severe nail changes
    3%3%
  • Severe fever without infection
    2%2%
  • Serious allergic reaction with premedication
    2%2%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of docetaxel.

Taxotere (docetaxel)
Placebo

People taking docetaxel felt side effect more

People taking docetaxel felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Taxotere (docetaxel)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Liver disease
    • High Taxotere (docetaxel) doses
    • Patients with non-small cell lung cancer with a history of receiving platinum-based chemotherapy

    On rare occasions, people have died as a while taking Taxotere (docetaxel); this was typically due to serious infections. People are at higher risk if they have liver conditions, receive higher doses of Taxotere (docetaxel), or have non-small cell lung cancer and received prior treatment with platinum chemotherapy. Your doctor will talk to you about the risks and benefits of taking Taxotere (docetaxel).

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Taxotere (docetaxel)

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Alcohol
  • Some forms of Taxotere (docetaxel) are made with alcohol so you can feel like you are dizzy or tired. Do not drive or perform dangerous activities before you know how Taxotere (docetaxel) affects you.
Pain
  • Can cause tingling/numbness/burning pain in hands and feet, bleeding/bruising, or infections.