Docetaxel Taxotere

Docetaxel Taxotere

This chemotherapy and cancer drugs article is about Docetaxel (Taxotere) which is used with lung, breast, head and neck, and prostate cancers. It is also used to treat non-small cell lung cancer.

It resembles Taxol in chemical structure. It was FDA approved in 1996 to treat advanced breast cancer in patients who have not responded well to chemotherapy with Adriamycin. In 1998, docetaxel was also approved by the FDA to treat cancer that has spread into other areas of the breast or other parts of the body after treatment with standard chemotherapy. Docetaxel inhibits the division of breast cancer cells by acting on the cell's internal skeleton. The drug is usually given intravenously once every three weeks.

Approved by

the Medical Board. 

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According to NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) docetaxel (given with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide) is recommended as a possible adjuvant treatment for women with early node-positive breast cancer. It can also be used for the treatment of prostate and other cancers.




  • Breast cancer ( advanced or metastatic): 60 mg/m2to 100 mg/m2IV
  • Breast cancer adjuvant treatment: Six cycles of - 75mg/m2IV over 1 hour after 50 mg/m2of doxorubicin and 500 mg/m2of cyclophosphamide every 3 weeks.
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): 75 mg/m2IV (after failure of platinum therapy) 
  • Prostate cancer: 75mg/m2 IV with 5 mg prednisone twice a day

Head and neck cancer : 75 mg/m2 IV then 75 mg/m2 IV of  cisplatin and then followed by 750 mg/m2 IV per day for 24 hours for 4 cycles or 75 mg/m2 IV  then 1000 mg/m2 IV of Fuorouracil for 24 hours for 3 cycles.

Side effects can include: Lowered resistance to infection, fatigue, anaemia, bruising and bleeding. Additionally, docetaxel is also linked to fluid retention, pains in the joints and peripheral neuropathy. There may also be allergic reactions. You may also experience a change in the colour of your nails and allergic reactions and rashes.


Acute myeloid leukaemia, asthenia (lack of energy), paresthesia, and cutaneous reactions.

Contraindicated in pregnancy.




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