Docetaxel (Injection)

Docetaxel (Injection)

Docetaxel (doe-se-TAX-el)

Treats breast cancer and lung cancer.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not be treated with this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to docetaxel.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • This medicine, like all medicines used to treat cancer, is very strong. Make sure you understand why you are getting it and what the risks and benefits of treatment are. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor.  
  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it will be given.  
  • Your medicine will be given through a tube put in one of your veins, usually in your arm, wrist, or hand and sometimes in your chest. This is called intravenous (in-tra-VEEN-us), or IV.  
  • A nurse or other caregiver trained to give cancer drugs will give your treatment.

If a dose is missed::

  • This medicine needs to be given on a regular schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or clinic where you get your treatments for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • If you get your treatments at a clinic, the staff at the clinic will keep your medicine there.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Talk to your doctor before getting any vaccines (such as flu shots) while you are receiving this medicine.  
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also taking cyclosporine (Sandimmunereg;), erythromycin (EESreg;), ketoconazole (Nizoralreg;), or troleandomycin (TAOreg;).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • This medicine is harmful to use during pregnancy. It may cause birth defects.  
  • Do not breastfeed while you are being given this medicine.  
  • Before using this medicine, tell your doctor if you have liver disease.  
  • You may get infections more easily while getting this medicine. Stay away from crowds or people with colds, flu, or other infections.  
  • This medicine can cause rashes, trouble breathing, or swelling. You will get medicine before your treatment to help prevent these problems.  
  • This medicine may cause nausea and vomiting. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to keep you from feeling sick and throwing up. If the medicine does not help (you can’t keep liquids down), tell your doctor.  
  • You will need to have routine blood tests while you are receiving this medicine. Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Fast or irregular heartbeat  
  • Fever, chills, or sore throat  
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet  
  • Painful mouth sores that keep you from drinking liquids  
  • Skin rash, hives, or itching  
  • Severe swelling in any part of the body  
  • Uncontrollable nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea  
  • Unexplained tiredness or weakness  
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising  
  • Wheezing, trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in the appearance of fingernails or toenails  
  • Diarrhea  
  • Hair loss  
  • Mild swelling in your hands or feet  
  • Muscle pain

Johns Hopkins patient information

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.02.
Revision date: July 8, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

The drug reference included in this section is provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado. Armenian Medical Network receives monthly updates from Multum.