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You are here: Home » eGM Resources » Health Information & Resources Portal|Home » RX Drug List (listed alphabetically) » Drug Reference (D's) » Docetaxel



TAXOTERE (docetaxel) for Injection Concentrate should be administered under the supervision of a qualified physician experienced in the use of antineoplastic agents. Appropriate management of complications is possible only when adequate diagnostic and treatment facilities are readily available.

The incidence of treatment- related mortality associated with TAXOTERE therapy is increased in patients with abnormal liver function , in patients receiving higher doses, and in patients with non- small cell lung carcinoma and a history of prior treatment with platinumbased chemotherapy who receive TAXOTERE at a dose of 100 mg/ m2  (see WARNINGS).

TAXOTERE should generally not be given to patients with bilirubin > upper limit of normal (ULN), or to patients with SGOT and/ or SGPT >1.5 x ULN concomitant with alkaline phosphatase > 2.5 x ULN. Patients with elevations of bilirubin or abnormalities of transaminase concurrent with alkaline phosphatase are at increased risk for the development of grade 4 neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, infections, severe thrombocytopenia, severe stomatitis, severe skin toxicity, and toxic death. Patients with isolated elevations of transaminase > 1.5 x ULN also had a higher rate of febrile neutropenia grade 4 but did not have an increased incidence of toxic death. Bilirubin, SGOT or SGPT, and alkaline phosphatase values should be obtained prior to each cycle of TAXOTERE therapy and reviewed by the treating physician. 

TAXOTERE therapy should not be given to patients with neutrophil counts of < 1500 cells/ mm3 . In order to monitor the occurrence of neutropenia, which may be severe and result in infection, frequent blood cell counts should be performed on all patients receiving TAXOTERE. 

Severe hypersensitivity reactions characterized by hypotension and/ or bronchospasm, or generalized rash/ erythema occurred in 2.2% (2/ 92) of patients who received the recommended 3- day dexamethasone premedication. Hypersensitivity reactions requiring discontinuation of the TAXOTERE infusion were reported in five patients who did not receive premedication. These reactions resolved after discontinuation of the infusion and the administration of appropriate therapy. TAXOTERE must not be given to patients who have a history of severe hypersensitivity reactions to TAXOTERE or to other drugs formulated with polysorbate 80 (see WARNINGS).

Severe fluid retention occurred in 6.5% (6/ 92) of patients despite use of a 3- day dexamethasone premedication regimen. It was characterized by one or more of the following events: poorly tolerated peripheral edema, generalized edema, pleural effusion requiring urgent drainage, dyspnea at rest, cardiac tamponade, or pronounced abdominal distention (due to ascites) (see PRECAUTIONS).

Docetaxel is an antineoplastic agent belonging to the taxoid family. It is prepared by semisynthesis beginning with a precursor extracted from the renewable needle biomass of yew plants. The chemical name for docetaxel is (2R,3S)-N-carboxy-3-phenylisoserine, N-tert-butyl ester, 13-ester with 5b-20-epoxy-12a,4,7b,10b,13a-hexahydroxytax- 11-en-9-one 4-acetate 2-benzoate, trihydrate.

Docetaxel is a white to almost-white powder with an empirical formula of C43H53NO14 3H2O, and a molecular weight of 861.9. It is highly lipophilic and practically insoluble in water. TAXOTERE (docetaxel) for Injection Concentrate is a clear yellow to brownish-yellow viscous solution. TAXOTERE is sterile, non-pyrogenic, and is available in singledose vials containing 20 mg (0.5 mL) or 80 mg (2.0 mL) docetaxel (anhydrous). Each mL contains 40 mg docetaxel (anhydrous) and 1040 mg polysorbate 80.

TAXOTERE for Injection Concentrate requires dilution prior to use. A sterile, nonpyrogenic, single-dose diluent is supplied for that purpose. The diluent for TAXOTERE contains 13% ethanol in Water for Injection, and is supplied in 1.5 mL (to be used with 20 mg TAXOTERE for Injection Concentrate) and 6.0 mL (to be used with 80 mg TAXOTERE for Injection Concentrate) vials.

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