EffectsOne study looked at using docetaxel to treat advanced or metastatic breast cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body) in people who had been unsuccessfully treated with other types of chemotherapy. People were given either docetaxel or a combination of mitomycin (Mitozytrex®) and vinblastine (Velban®). Compared to the mitomycin/vinblastine combination, docetaxel increased the average survival time from 8.7 months to 11.4 months. Docetaxel also delayed the progression of the cancer.
Docetaxel was also studied for non-operable, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that had not responded to previous chemotherapy. Compared to supportive care (which is care to improve the quality of life, but not to treat the cancer), docetaxel extended the survival time and delayed the progression of the cancer.
Other studies have also shown that docetaxel is also effective at treating prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and head and neck cancer.
When and How to Take DocetaxelSome general considerations for when and how to take the medication include the following:
- Docetaxel is administered intravenously (through an IV). Each docetaxel infusion is given over a one-hour period.
- You will need to take an oral steroid, such as dexamethasone (Decadron®), before (and sometimes after) each dose of this medication in order to prevent fluid retention and allergic reactions.
- Most people receive their docetaxel injection at their healthcare provider's office, a hospital, or at an "infusion center."
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work as well if you stop taking it before your healthcare provider recommends.