Taxotere is a chemotherapy medication given in an injectable form. The generic drug is called docetaxel. It is used in the treatment of specific types of cancer, most often breast, lung, prostate, and stomach cancers. The dosage and treatment given depend on the individual’s condition, their response to the medication, and any other underlying medical conditions. Taxotere is often administered with other types of chemotherapy drugs.
There are common side effects with this medication. Because the drug is given as an injection into the muscle, you may experience pain or swelling at the injection site. Other commonly reported side effects are those found with other chemotherapy drugs, including temporary hair loss, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, and loss of appetite.
The drug also carries a black box warning, which are warnings that appear in the package insert and are required by the FDA to describe how to use the drug safely. The warnings detail serious side effects and are meant for the public and prescribing healthcare providers.
Five complications that have been identified with Taxotere and are included in the black box warning:
- Low blood cell counts
- Fluid retention
- Hypersensitivity reactions
- Toxic death
According to Drugwatch, there were 3007 deaths from adverse reactions to Taxotere that were reported to the FDA adverse event reporting system from 2003 to June 2018.
Medications That Interact With Taxotere
Physicians and pharmacists must be aware of the drug interactions that can happen with the prescription and administration of any medication. When two or more drugs react with each other in your body, this can cause you to experience unexpected side effects.
Drugs that must be considered include over-the-counter medications, common natural supplements, and other prescription medications. In some cases, the drug interaction may cause one of the medications not to work or it may increase the risk of a life-threatening allergic reaction.
Other types of side effects may include stomach ulcers, drowsiness, loss of balance, muscle weakness, and pathological changes to your blood. All chemotherapy drugs may interact with herbal products. Although they are sold as natural, they do have bioactive compounds that can interact with pharmaceutical drugs.
Taxotere contains alcohol. If you are using other drugs, including over-the-counter medications, that have the side effect of making you sleepy, Taxotere can make the side effect worse. Before using any opioid pain medications, muscle relaxers, or medication used for the treatment of anxiety, depression, or seizures, talk with your physician. It may be necessary to change your medication.
Major drug interactions have been reported with the chemotherapy drug carboplatin, which can increase the risk of nerve damage. Neulasta, which is used to raise your white blood cell count after chemotherapy, may alter the effect of Taxotere if it’s given too soon.
Prednisone, Decadron, and dexamethasone, which are steroids used to help support your body while receiving chemotherapy, may trigger minor drug interactions. While taking Taxotere, you should avoid consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice as it can significantly increase your blood levels of the drug and raises the risk of significant side effects such as nerve pain, numbness, tingling, muscle pain, and weakness. You’re also much more likely to develop anemia and blood problems. Other medications that may trigger a drug interaction include:
- Atazanavir: protease inhibitor
- Clarithromycin: antibiotic
- Indinavir: protease inhibitor
- Itraconazole: anti-fungal
- Ketoconazole: anti-fungal
- Nefazodone: antidepressant
- Nelfinavir: protease inhibitor
- Ritonavir: protease inhibitor
- Saquinavir: protease inhibitor
- Telithromycin: antibiotic
Know This Before Taking This Medication
Taxotere can affect your fertility. You may not be able to get pregnant or father a child after treatment. If you would like a family after your cancer treatment, talk with your doctor about harvesting eggs or sperm before receiving chemotherapy.
It is crucial you do not become pregnant or father a child while on Taxotere. The drug can cause significant damage to a developing child and alter a man’s sperm, so the child is affected. Always tell your doctor, dentist, pharmacist, and nurse if you are taking Taxotere and need treatment for any other medical condition.
Since Taxotere affects your immune system, you should not have any live vaccines during treatment or for the 12 months after treatment has been completed. You should also avoid close contact with anyone who may have had a live vaccine, including the flu vaccine.
Before taking the drug, be sure your doctor knows if you are allergic to Taxotere, and any food or drug allergies you may have.
Call Hotze Runkle to Hold the Manufacturer Accountable
If you experience persistent negative side effects after completing your Taxotere chemotherapy treatment, the attorneys at Hotze Runkle have the experience and resources necessary to protect your rights. The pharmaceutical industry has a legal obligation to ensure that consumers are fully informed before taking drugs. This is called informed consent.
If you were denied information, misled by your physician, or ignored when you expressed concern over side effects, you are not alone. Our compassionate and experienced legal team works hard to seek justice against the negligent parties who have violated your rights.
We understand that you’re already going through enough as you’re dealing with overcoming cancer. Hotze Runkle is a national litigation law firm based in Texas with experience dealing with Taxotere and the unintended effects it has on users. If you have been injured after taking Taxotere, contact us today at (800) 763-6155 for a confidential consultation with a member of our legal team. We will review your case and advise you on your next best steps.