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Paclitaxel is a prescription used for the treatment of certain types of cancer.

  • Cancer of the ovaries
  • Breast cancer
  • advanced non-small cell lung cancer

Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries. The reproductive system of the female contains two ovaries. These ovaries produce eggs as well as the hormone estrogen and progesterone. Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include:

  • Quickly feeling full when eating
  • Abdominal bloating or swelling
  • Weight loss
  • Changes in bowel habits such as constipation
  • A frequent need to urinate
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area

Breast cancer forms in the cells of the breasts. It can occur in both men and women. Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:

  • Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
  • A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
  • A newly inverted nipple
  • Changes to the skin over the breast such as dimpling
  • Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast like the skin of an orange
  • Scaling, peeling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple of breast skin

Advanced non-small cell lung cancer starts when cells of the lung become abnormal and begin to grow out of control. As more cancer cells develop, they can form into a tumor and spread to other areas of the body. The most common symptoms of advanced non-small cell lung cancer are:

  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum
  • A cough that does not go away or gets worse
  • Hoarseness
  • Chest pain that is often worsening with deep breathing, laughing, or coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite

Paclitaxel will help you to slow or stop the cancer cells from growing and spreading in your body. This is a type of chemotherapy medicine for cancer known as a taxane. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication. This product is supplied as a non-aqueous solution intended for dilution with a suitable parenteral fluid before intravenous infusion. Paclitaxel is available in 30 mg, 100 mg, and 300 mg multi-dose vials. Each vial contains Paclitaxel as an active ingredient.

How does Paclitaxel work?

Cancers form when some cells within the body multiply uncontrollably and abnormally. These cells then spread and destroy nearby tissues. Paclitaxel works by stopping the cancer cells from multiplying and dividing. This destroys the cancer cells and stops cancer from growing.

Paclitaxel can also affect normal and healthy cells. Particularly those are that multiplies rapidly such as hair cells and blood cells. The most important side effect is on the bone marrow. It is where blood cells are made. This drug can lessen the production of blood cells, which can leave people susceptible to infection. Regular blood tests are therefore required to monitor the levels of blood cells.

How to use Paclitaxel?

The dosage will depend on your medical condition, age, weight, and response to the treatment. Your doctor may start at a low dose and gradually increase it. You must take this medication exactly as it is prescribed. Do not take more or less than it is given by your doctor.

Paclitaxel is to be given by injection into a vein. This is usually given once every three weeks. The treatment takes around three hours. Sometimes, you may have it once a week depending on your situation. If you are having it weekly, the treatment takes over an hour. Before using this product, check it visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol before injecting each dose. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely. To get the most benefit from it, use the medication regularly. Remember to use the prescription at the same time each day. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.

If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and follow your regular schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose

What are the side effects of Paclitaxel?

Common side effects:

  • Fever
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate
  • Flushing
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Mouth sores
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Temporary hair loss
  • Dizziness
  • Temporary hair loss
  • Drowsiness
  • Numbness or tingling of the hands or feet
  • Darkening of your skin or nails
  • Injection site reactions such as swelling, pain, or skin color changes

Call your doctor right away if you have these side effects:

  • Severe stomach pain or diarrhea
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands or feet
  • Flushing (redness, warmth, or tingly feeling)
  • Pain or burning when you urinate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fast or slow heartbeats
  • Cough with or without mucus or wheezing
  • A light-headed feeling
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Severe headache
  • Pounding in your ears or neck
  • Severe redness or irritation, swelling or a hard lump or other skin changes where the injection was given

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Difficult breathing
  • Hives or itching
  • Feeling like you might pass out
  • Swelling of your lips, face, tongue, or throat

Warnings and Precautions

  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to it. This drug may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.
  • Let your doctor know about the drugs you take including vitamins, prescription medicine, and herbal supplements.
  • Without the consent of your doctor, you should not receive any vaccination or immunization.
  • You should not share this or any of your prescriptions with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
  • This medication should not be used by pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding women.
  • Your doctor may want to monitor your heart function before and during treatment with this medicine.
  • This should be used with caution in people with mild to moderately decreased liver function or with heart disease.
  • Keep this drug at room temperature far from moisture or heat.