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Taxol

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Taxol

TAXOL®
(paclitaxel) Injection

WARNING

TAXOL® (paclitaxel) should be administered under the supervision of a physician experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Appropriate management of complications is possible only when adequate diagnostic and treatment facilities are readily available.

Anaphylaxis and severe hypersensitivity reactions characterized by dyspnea and hypotension requiring treatment, angioedema, and generalized urticaria have occurred in 2 to 4% of patients receiving TAXOL in clinical trials. Fatal reactions have occurred in patients despite premedication. All patients should be pretreated with corticosteroids, diphenhydramine, and H2 antagonists. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.) Patients who experience severe hypersensitivity reactions to TAXOL should not be rechallenged with the drug.

TAXOL therapy should not be given to patients with solid tumors who have baseline neutrophil counts of less than 1500 cells/mm3 and should not be given to patients with AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma if the baseline neutrophil count is less than 1000 cells/mm3. In order to monitor the occurrence of bone marrow suppression, primarily neutropenia, which may be severe and result in infection, it is recommended that frequent peripheral blood cell counts be performed on all patients receiving TAXOL.

DRUG DESCRIPTION

TAXOL (paclitaxel) Injection is a clear, colorless to slightly yellow viscous solution. It is supplied as a nonaqueous solution intended for dilution with a suitable parenteral fluid prior to intravenous infusion. TAXOL is available in 30 mg (5 mL), 100 mg (16.7 mL), and 300 mg (50 mL) multidose vials. Each mL of sterile nonpyrogenic solution contains 6 mg paclitaxel, 527 mg of purified Cremophor® EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil) and 49.7% (v/v) dehydrated alcohol, USP.

Paclitaxel is a natural product with antitumor activity. TAXOL (paclitaxel) is obtained via a semi-synthetic process from Taxus baccata. The chemical name for paclitaxel is 5β,20-Epoxy-l,2α,4,7β,10β,13α-hexahydroxytax-l l-en-9-one 4,10-diacetate 2-benzoate 13-ester with (2R,3S)-N-benzoyl-3-phenylisoserine.

Paclitaxel has the following structural formula:

TAXOL®
  (paclitaxel) INJECTION Structural Formula Illustration

Paclitaxel is a white to off-white crystalline powder with the empirical formula C47H51NO14 and a molecular weight of 853.9. It is highly lipophilic, insoluble in water, and melts at around 216-217° C.

What are the possible side effects of paclitaxel (Onxol)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Taxol »

What are the precautions when taking paclitaxel (Taxol)?

Before using paclitaxel, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as polyoxyethylated castor oil), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood disorders (e.g., low white blood cell count), decreased bone marrow function, current infections, heart problems (e.g., fast/slow/irregular heartbeat), high or low blood pressure, liver disease.

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit...

Read All Potential Precautions of Taxol »

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/13/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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