What is Taxol® (paclitaxel) used for?
Taxol® is a medicinal product for injection containing paclitaxel, which is used to treat various types of cancer. It is a cancer chemotherapy drug that works by slowing or stopping cancer cell growth.
How should I take Taxol® (paclitaxel)?
For injection form, you should:
- Receive Taxol® injected by health care professional in hospital by a dose calculated by your doctor.
- Read the label carefully before using Taxol®.
- Consult your doctor for any information on the label that you do not clearly understand.
How do I store Taxol® (paclitaxel)?
Taxol® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Taxol® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Taxol® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Taxol® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Taxol® (paclitaxel)?
Before using Taxol®, tell your doctor if you have:
- Allergic reaction to excipients using for dosage form containing Taxol®.
- Allergic reaction to any other medicines, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.
- Used any other health conditions, drugs that have a risk of interaction with Taxol®.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Taxol® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Taxol®. Taxol® is pregnancy risk category D, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
There are no data on the excretion of paclitaxel into human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, mothers should discontinue nursing prior to administration of paclitaxel.
What side effects can occur from Taxol® (paclitaxel)?
As taking others medicines, taking Taxol® can cause some side effects. Most of them are rarely occurring and do not need any supplementary treatment. However, it is always important for you to consult your doctor if you have any problem after taking this medicine.
Some of side effects are listed below:
- Redness, pain, swelling, discoloration, or unusual skin reactions
- Signs of anemia (e.g., unusual tiredness, pale skin)
- Easy bruising/bleeding
- Pain/redness/swelling/weakness of the arms/legs
- Calf pain/swelling that is warm to the touch
- Coughing up blood
- Persistent nausea/vomiting
- Stomach/abdominal pain
- Yellowing eyes/skin
- Dark urine
- Vision/hearing changes
- Mouth sores
- Muscle/joint pain
- Numbness/tingling/burning of the hands/feet
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Taxol® (paclitaxel)?
Taxol® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Products may interact with this drug, including:
Quinupristin Abiraterone Acetate
Adenovirus Vaccine Type 4, Live
Adenovirus Vaccine Type 7, Live
Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin Vaccine, Live
Doxorubicin Hydrochloride Liposome
Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live
Measles Virus Vaccine, Live
Mumps Virus Vaccine, Live
Rubella Virus Vaccine, Live
St John’s Wort
Varicella Virus Vaccine
Yellow Fever Vaccine
Does food or alcohol interact with Taxol® (paclitaxel)?
Taxol® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Taxol® (paclitaxel)?
Taxol® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, such as:
- Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
- Heart rhythm problems
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Peripheral neuropathy (pain, numbness, or tingling of hands, arms, legs, or feet)
- Liver disease
- Neutropenia, severe (very low white blood cells)
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Taxol® (paclitaxel).
What is the dose of Taxol® (paclitaxel) for an adult?
Consult your doctor for information about the dose of Taxol®.
Recommended doses in some cases are listed below:
Breast cancer – adjuvant:
For adjuvant treatment of node-positive: the recommended dose is 175 mg/m2 intravenously over 3 hours every 3 weeks for four courses administered sequentially to doxorubicin-containing chemotherapy.
After failure of initial chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within 6 months of adjuvant chemotherapy: the recommended dose is 175 mg/m2 intravenously over 3 hours every 3 weeks.
Non-small cell lung cancer:
The recommended dose is 135 mg/m2 intravenously over 24 hours followed by cisplatin every 3 weeks.
For previously untreated patients with cancer of the ovary:
The recommended dose is 175 mg/m2 intravenously over 3 hours every 3 weeks followed by cisplatin, or 135 mg/m2 intravenously over 24 hours every 3 weeks followed by cisplatin.
For patients previously treated for cancer of the ovary:
The recommended dose is 175 mg/m2 intravenously over 3 hours every 3 weeks, or 135 mg/m2 intravenously over 3 hours every 3 weeks.
What is the dose of Taxol® (paclitaxel) for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Taxol® (paclitaxel) available?
Taxol® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Concentrate, Intravenous: 100mg/16.7 ml (16.7 ml); 30 mg/5ml (5ml); 150 mg/25ml; 300 mg/50ml (50ml).
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Taxol®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 13, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019
Taxol® (paclitaxel). http://www.doctissimo.fr/medicament-TAXOL.htm. Accessed November 14, 2016.
Taxol® (paclitaxel). http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/treatment/cancer-drugs/paclitaxel. Accessed November 14, 2016.
Taxol® (paclitaxel). http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/druglist/Taxol. Accessed November 14, 2016.