Taxol is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.
Taxol is used to treat breast cancer, lung cancer, and ovarian cancer. It is also used to treat AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma.
You should not be given Taxol if you are allergic to paclitaxel, or to other medications that contain an ingredient called Cremophor EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil). This includes cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune) and teniposide (Vumon).
Before you receive Taxol, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- liver disease;
- heart disease; or
- a severely weak immune system.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely receive Taxol.
FDA pregnancy category D. Taxol can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not receive Taxol without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether Taxol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not receive Taxol without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; feeling like you might pass out; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- slow heart rate;
- seizure (black-out or convulsions);
- pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
- white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
- numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands or feet;
- increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats); or
- warmth or redness under your skin.
Less serious side effects may include:
- pain, swelling, redness, or skin color changes where the Taxol was injected;
- joint or muscle pain;
- mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; or
- hair loss.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.