A semi-synthetic, second-generation taxane derived from a compound found in the European yew tree Taxus baccata. Docetaxel displays potent and broad antineoplastic properties; it binds to and stabilizes tubulin, thereby inhibiting microtubule disassembly which results in cell- cycle arrest at the G2/M phase and cell death. This agent also inhibits pro-angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and displays immunomodulatory and pro-inflammatory properties by inducing various mediators of the inflammatory response. Docetaxel has been studied for use as a radiation-sensitizing agent.
Docetaxel injection is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat certain types of breast, lung, prostate, stomach, and head and neck cancers. Docetaxel injection is in a class of medications called taxanes. It works by stopping the growth and spread of cancer cells.
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.
Your doctor will probably prescribe a steroid medication such as dexamethasone for you to take during each dosing cycle to help prevent certain side effects. Be sure to follow the directions carefully and take this medication exactly as prescribed. If you forget to take your medication or do not take it on schedule, be sure to tell your doctor before receiving your docetaxel injection.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Docetaxel injection is also sometimes used to treat ovarian cancer (cancer that begins in the female reproductive organs where eggs are formed). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this drug for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Call your doctor right away if you are unable to keep an appointment to receive a dose of docetaxel injection.
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
Docetaxel injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
*Source: National Cancer Institute
*Source: Medline Plus