Brand name: Taxol
Chemical name: Paclitaxel
How it works: Taxanes interfere with the ability of cancer cells to divide.
Uses: Taxol usually is given in combination with other chemotherapy medicines and is used after surgery to:
- reduce the risk of early-stage breast cancer coming back
- treat advanced-stage breast cancer after it stops responding to standard chemotherapy regimens that include an anthracycline
How it's given: Taxol is given intravenously.
Additional information: Taxol uses solvents to dissolve paclitaxel, the main ingredient, so the medicine can enter the bloodstream. These solvents may make Taxol difficult to tolerate while being given. People usually take pre-medications to minimize reactions to the solvents.
- low white blood cell count
- susceptibility to infection
- allergic reactions
- hair loss
- numbness in the fingers and toes (neuropathy)
- mouth sores
- irregular periods -- this can include temporary cessation (usually resume after medication is completed) or permanent cessation of menstrual periods depending on your age and other factors