Taxotere is chemotherapy drug marketed by Sanofi-Aventis that has been approved to treat breast cancer and a number of other cancers. The side effects of Taxotere may include permanent alopecia (hair loss).
Taxotere (docetaxel) is approved to treat:
Taxotere is usually administered in combination with other chemotherapy medicines, and is often prescribed after surgery. The medication belongs to a class of chemotherapy drugs called taxanes, and is derived from a compound extracted from the needles of yew trees.
Taxotere works by preventing cancer cells from dividing, thus killing the cells and preventing their spread. The drug is administered intravenously in a hospital every three weeks as a one hour infusion. Patients undergoing Taxotere therapy may be prescribed a course of corticosteroids to be taken by mouth for three days, starting one day before the infusion, in order to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.
Many chemo treatments, including Taxotere, can cause temporary hair loss. However, mounting evidence indicates that alopecia associated with Taxotere can be permanent.
As it kills cancer cells, Taxotere also harms normal, healthy cells, including blood cells. Because it can decrease the production of blood cells, patients treated with this drug are susceptible to infection. Regular blood tests are therefore needed to monitor levels of blood cells.
Taxotere side effects may include:
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