A healthcare provider may prescribe docetaxel for the treatment of different types of cancer, including lung, breast, and prostate cancer. The medication can stop cancer cells from growing and multiplying by interfering with certain structures in the cell. The medicine, which is available by prescription and is administered intravenously, can be given at a hospital, "infusion center," or healthcare provider's office. Side effects may include hair loss, neutropenia, leukopenia, and anemia.
What Is Docetaxel?Docetaxel (Docefrez™, Taxotere®) is a prescription medication used to treat various types of cancer. This includes breast cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer, to name a few. It is part of a group of chemotherapy medications called taxanes.
(Click What Is Docetaxel Used For? for more information on what the drug is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Possible Side EffectsAs with any medicine, side effects are possible with docetaxel. However, not everyone who takes the drug will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of docetaxel include, but are not limited to:
- Neutropenia (low levels of a certain type of white blood cell called neutrophils)
- Leukopenia (low levels of another type of white blood cell called leukocytes)
- Anemia (see Chemotherapy and Anemia)
- Hair loss (see Taxotere and Hair Loss).
(Click Docetaxel Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)