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    Information about Docetaxel

    Docetaxel uses

    Docetaxel is used in the treatment of breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer and cancer of head and neck.

    How docetaxel works

    Docetaxel is an anticancer medication. It works by interfering with the microtubule structures which help the cancer cells to divide and multiply. This slows the growth of cancer cells and eventually kills them.

    Common side effects of docetaxel

    Skin reaction, Nausea, Vomiting, Low blood platelets, Anemia (low number of red blood cells), Peripheral neuropathy (tingling and numbness of feet and hand), Hair loss, Diarrhea, Infection, Decreased blood cell count, Constipation, Loss of appetite, Nail disorder, Fluid retention, Weakness, Febrile neutropenia, Hypersensitivity, Taste change, Shortness of breath, Weight loss, Pain, Stomatitis (Inflammation of the mouth), Muscle pain
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Anuj Saini
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Varun Gupta
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    16 Oct 2019 | 01:30 PM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

    Available Medicine for Docetaxel

    • ₹3819 to ₹16118
      Fresenius Kabi India Pvt Ltd
      3 variant(s)
    • ₹5178 to ₹20710
      Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹28 to ₹15379
      Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd
      6 variant(s)
    • ₹5529 to ₹21111
      Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹3200 to ₹14000
      Hetero Drugs Ltd
      3 variant(s)
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      Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd
      3 variant(s)
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      Zuventus Healthcare Ltd
      3 variant(s)
    • ₹3626 to ₹13359
      Panacea Biotec Ltd
      3 variant(s)
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      United Biotech Pvt Ltd
      3 variant(s)
    • ₹3702 to ₹14971
      Mylan Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd
      3 variant(s)

    Expert advice for Docetaxel

    • Docetaxel is an anti-cancer medication used for the treatment of breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer and cancers of head and neck.
    • It is given as an intravenous (IV) injection into your vein, usually over 1 hour and every three weeks.
    • Do not take Docetaxel if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Use reliable methods of contraception to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine.
    • Your doctor may get regular blood tests done to monitor your blood cells and liver function during treatment with this medicine.
    • It may cause side effects such as swelling of hands, lips, and weight gain. To reduce these side effects your doctor may suggest some medication along with this medicine called Corticosteroids.
    • Inform your doctor if you notice unexplained bruising or bleeding, sore throat, mouth ulcers, high temperature (fever) or other signs of infection.

    Frequently asked questions for Docetaxel


    Q. Does Docetaxel cause weight gain?

    Yes, Docetaxel may cause weight gain. It may occur due to fluid retention which may initially make your feet swell and then gradually it will spread to the whole body. Call your doctor immediately if you notice swelling of feet.

    Q. How long do I have to take Docetaxel?

    You should continue to take Docetaxel as long as your doctor advises you. The duration of treatment varies with the type of cancer you have and other factors like your response to treatment. You should usually receive your infusion once every 3 weeks.

    Q. Can I drink alcohol while on Docetaxel?

    Docetaxel injection contains alcohol because of which you may experience confusion, stumbling, becoming very sleepy, or feeling like you are drunk. This may impair your ability to drive or use machinery right after receiving it. Hence, you should avoid alcohol during Docetaxel therapy, as it may affect you adversely.

    Q. What is Docetaxel used for?

    Docetaxel is commonly used for breast cancer, certain types of lung cancer, prostate, stomach, and head and neck cancers. It works by restricting cells from growing and multiplying.

    Q. Is Docetaxel available in pill form?

    No, Docetaxel injection comes as a liquid to be given intravenously (into a vein) by a doctor or nurse in a hospital or clinic. It is usually given over 1 hour once every 3 weeks.

    Q. What blood tests are required before administration of Docetaxel?

    Your doctor will ask you to get blood tests every time you have a scheduled dose of Docetaxel. You may be asked to have blood tests, such as hemogram and liver function tests, to ensure that you have enough blood cells and that your liver is functioning well enough to receive Docetaxel. In case of white blood cells disturbances, you may experience associated fever or infections.

    Q. Is hair loss caused by Docetaxel irreversible?

    Hair loss is a common side effect of Docetaxel. Normal hair growth may resume after stopping Docetaxel. However, in some cases there is permanent hair loss. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns regarding hair loss.

    Q. Why is dexamethasone used with Docetaxel?

    Docetaxel may cause fluid retention (swelling in the hands, feet, ankles and legs) as well as severe hypersensitivity reactions. To control such possibilities from occurring all patients are given corticosteroids (dexamethasone) for 3 days starting 1 day prior to Docetaxel administration. In case of prostate cancer (metastatic castration-resistant), the recommended regimen is oral dexamethasone given at 12 hours, 3 hours, and 1 hour before the Docetaxel infusion.

    Q. What type of drug is Docetaxel?

    Docetaxel belongs to the group of anti-cancer medicines called taxoids. It works by stopping the growth and spread of cancer cells.

    Content on this page was last updated on 16 October, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)