Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergic reaction: Some people may experience an allergic reaction (flushing of the face, severe back pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath) within the first few minutes of receiving docetaxel. You will be asked to take some medication prior to treatment with docetaxel to reduce your chances of experiencing a reaction.
Blood clotting: Docetaxel can reduce the number of platelet cells in the blood. Platelets help the blood to clot, and a shortage could make you bleed more easily. Tell your doctor of any signs that your blood is not clotting as quickly. Such symptoms may include black and tarry stools, blood in the urine, easy bruising, or cuts that won't stop bleeding.
Fluid retention: This medication can cause fluid retention, mainly involving the ankles and wrists. You will be prescribed medication to reduce your risk of experiencing fluid retention and your doctor will monitor you while you are receiving this medication.
Infection: As well as killing cancer cells, this medication can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). Avoid contact with people who are sick, especially those who have contagious infections (e.g., colds, flu, chicken pox), and tell your doctor if you notice signs of an infection such as fever or chills.
Leukemia: This medication may rarely cause a form of leukemia. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause increased side effects with this medication. If you have impaired liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. You may experience increased side effects from docetaxel.
Nerve pain: People usually experience a mild burning, tingling, numbing sensation of the fingers and toes while taking this medication. This side effect is rarely severe and usually goes away once you finish treatment with docetaxel.
Skin: This medication may rarely cause a severe skin reaction involving peeling, blistering, and redness of the skin. This usually appears on the hands and feet, but may also occur on the arms, face, or body. Contact your doctor if this reaction occurs.
Pregnancy: There are no adequate studies of use of this medication by pregnant women. This medication should not be taken during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if docetaxel passes into breast milk. Women should not breast-feed while using docetaxel.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
Seniors: Seniors may be at increased risk of side effects from this medication.