Taxotere 160 mg/8 ml concentrate for solution for infusion. Docetaxel
What Taxotere is and what it is used for
The name of this medicine is Taxotere. Its common name is Docetaxel. Docetaxel is a substance derived from the needles of yew trees.
Docetaxel belongs to the group of anti-cancer medicines called taxoids.
Taxotere has been prescribed by your doctor for the treatment of breast cancer, special forms of lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer), prostate cancer, gastric cancer or head and neck cancer:
- For the treatment of advanced breast cancer, Taxotere could be administered either alone or in combination with doxorubicin, or trastuzumab, or capecitabine.
- For the treatment of early breast cancer with or without lymph node involvement, Taxotere could be administered in combination with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide.
- For the treatment of lung cancer, Taxotere could be administered either alone or in combination with cisplatin.
- For the treatment of prostate cancer, Taxotere is administered in combination with prednisone or prednisolone.
- For the treatment of metastatic gastric cancer, Taxotere is administered in combination with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil.
- For the treatment of head and neck cancer, Taxotere is administered in combination with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil.
Before you use Taxotere
You must not be given Taxotere
- if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to Docetaxel or any of the other ingredients of Taxotere.
- if the number of white blood cells is too low.
- if you have a severe liver disease.
Take special care with Taxotere
Before each treatment with Taxotere, you will have blood tests to check that you have enough blood cells and sufficient liver function to receive Taxotere. In case of white blood cells disturbances, you may experience associated fever or infections.
You will be asked to take premedication consisting of an oral corticosteroid such as dexamethasone, one day prior to Taxotere administration and to continue for one or two days after it in order to minimise certain undesirable effects which may occur after the infusion of Taxotere in particular allergic reactions and fluid retention (swelling of the hands, feet, legs or weight gain).
During treatment, you may be given other medicines to maintain the number of your blood cells.
Taxotere contains alcohol. Discuss with your doctor if you suffer from alcohol dependency or liver impairment. See also section “Important information about some of the ingredients of Taxotere” below.
Taking other medicines
Please tell your doctor or hospital pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicine, including medicines obtained without a prescription. This is because Taxotere or the other medicine may not work as well as expected and you may be more likely to get a side effect.
Ask your doctor for advice before being given any medicine.
Taxotere must NOT be administered if you are pregnant unless clearly indicated by your doctor.
You must not become pregnant during treatment with this medicine and must use an effective method of contraception during therapy, because Taxotere may be harmful for the unborn baby. If pregnancy occurs during your treatment, you must immediately inform your doctor.
If you are a man being treated with Taxotere you are advised not to father a child during and up to 6 months after treatment and to seek advice on conservation of sperm prior to treatment because Docetaxel may alter male fertility.
You must not breast-feed while you are treated with Taxotere.
Driving and using machines
There is no reason why you cannot drive between courses of Taxotere except if you feel dizzy or are unsure of yourself.
Important information about some of the ingredients of Taxotere.
This medicinal product contains 50 vol % ethanol (alcohol), i.e. up to 3.16 g (4 ml) per vial, equivalent to 80 ml of beer or 33 ml wine per vial.
Harmful for those suffering from alcoholism.
To be taken into account if you are pregnant or if you are breast-feeding women, in children and high-risk groups such as patients with liver disease, or epilepsy.
The amount of alcohol in this medicinal product may alter the effects of other medicines.
The amount of alcohol in this medicine may impair your ability to drive or use machines.
How to use Taxotere
Taxotere will be administered to you by a healthcare professional.
- Usual dose
The dose will depend on your weight and your general condition. Your doctor will calculate your body surface area in square meters (m2) and will determine the dose you should receive.
- Method and route of administration
Taxotere will be given by infusion into one of your veins (intravenous use). The infusion will last approximately one hour during which you will be in the hospital.
- Frequency of administration
You should usually receive your infusion once every 3 weeks.
Your doctor may change the dose and frequency of dosing depending on your blood tests, your general condition and your response to Taxotere. In particular, please inform your doctor in case of diarrhoea, sores in the mouth, feeling of numbness or pins and needles, fever and give her/him results of your blood tests. Such information will allow her/him to decide whether a dose reduction is needed. If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor, or hospital pharmacist.
Possible side effects
Like all medicines, Taxotere can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Your doctor will discuss these with you and will explain the potential risks and benefits of your treatment.
The frequency of possible side effects listed below is defined using the following convention: very common (affects more than 1 user in 10); common (affects 1 to 10 users in 100); uncommon (affects 1 to 10 users in 1,000); rare (affects 1 to 10 users in 10,000); very rare (affects less than 1 user in 10,000); not known (frequency cannot be estimated from the available data).
The most commonly reported adverse reactions of Taxotere alone are: decrease in the number of red blood cells or white blood cells, alopecia, nausea, vomiting, sores in the mouth, diarrhoea and tiredness.
The severity of adverse events of Taxotere may be increased when Taxotere is given in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents.
During the infusion at the hospital the following allergic reactions (experienced in more than 1 person in 10) may occur:
- flushing, skin reactions, itching
- chest tightness; difficulty in breathing
- fever or chills
- back pain
- low blood pressure.
More severe reactions may occur.
The hospital staff will monitoryour condition closely during treatment. Tell them immediately if you notice any of these effects.
Between infusions of Taxotere the following may occur, and the frequency may vary with the combinations of medicines that are received
Very common (affects more than 1 user in 10):
- infections, decrease in the number of red (anaemia), or white blood cells (which are important in fighting infection) and platelets
- fever: if this happens you must tell your doctor immediately
- allergic reactions as described above
- loss of appetite (anorexia)
- feeling of numbness or pins and needles or pain in the joints or muscles
- alteration in sense of taste
- inflammation of the eye or increased tearing of the eyes
- swelling caused by faulty lymphatic drainage
- shortness of breath
- nasal drainage; inflammation of the throat and nose; cough
- bleeding from the nose
- sores in the mouth
- stomach upsets including nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, constipation
- abdominal pain
- short term hair loss (in most cases normal hair growth should return)
- redness and swelling of the palms of your hands or soles of your feet which may cause your skin to peel (this may also occur on the arms, face, or body)
- change in the color of your nails, which may detach
- muscle aches and pains; back pain or bone pain
- change or absence of menstrual period
- swelling of the hands, feet, legs
- tiredness; or flu-like symptoms
- weight gain or loss.
Common (affects 1 to 10 users in 100):
- oral candidiasis
- hearing impaired
- decrease in blood pressure; irregular or rapid heart beat
- heart failure
- dry mouth
- difficulty or painful swallowing
- raised liver enzymes (hence the need for regular blood tests).
Uncommon (affects 1 to 10 users in 1,000):
- at the injection site, skin reactions, phlebitis (inflammation of the vein) or swelling
- inflammation of the colon, small intestine; intestinal perforation
- blood clots.
If any of the side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or hospital pharmacist.
How to store Taxotere
Keep out of the reach and sight of children.
Do not use Taxotere after the expiry date which is stated on outer carton and on the label of the vial after EXP. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
Do not store above 25°C.
Store in the original package in order to protect from light.
Use the vial immediately after its opening. If not used immediately, in-use storage times and conditions are the responsibility of the user.
From a microbiological point of view, reconstitution/dilution must take place in controlled and aseptic conditions.
Use immediately the medicine once added into the infusion bag. If not used immediately, in-use storage times and conditions are the responsibility of the user and would normally not be longer than 6 hours below 25°C including the one hour infusion.
Physical and chemical in-use stability of the infusion solution prepared as recommended has been demonstrated in non-PVC bags up to 48 hours when stored between 2 to 8°C.
Docetaxel infusion solution is supersaturated, therefore may crystallize over time. If crystals appear, the solution must no longer be used and shall be discarded.
Dispose any unused product or waste material in accordance with local requirements.
What Taxotere contains
- The active substance is Docetaxel. Each ml of concentrate for solution for infusion contains 20 mg Docetaxel as trihydrate.
- The other ingredients are polysorbate 80, ethanol anhydrous and citric acid.
What Taxotere looks like and contents of the pack
Taxotere concentrate for solution for infusion is a pale yellow to brownish-yellow solution.
The concentrate is supplied in a 15 ml clear colourless glass vial with a blue aluminium seal and a blue plastic flip-off cap.
Each box contains one vial of 8 ml concentrate (160 mg Docetaxel).