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Docetaxel

Last updated on 14/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions   |   Tips   |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Docetaxel

CHINESE NAME: 多烯紫杉醇, 歐洲紫杉醇

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Taxotere, Tynen 特素療

DRUG CLASS: Antineoplastics

SUB CLASS: Mitotic inhibitors

USED FOR: Treatment of breast cancer, Cytotoxic chemotherapy, Treatment of gastric cancer, Treatment of oesophageal cancer, Treatment of lung cancer

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 20 mg/0.5ml, 20 mg/ml, 80 mg/ 2ml, 80 mg/4ml (injections)

What is Docetaxel for?

Docetaxel is an antineoplastic that can stabilize microtubules to a point that they cannot separate, thus unable to carry out cell division. Therefore, it can be used in the treatment of breast, oesophageal, lung and other cancers.

How to use it?

Docetaxel is to be injected into the veins. Your body surface area will be estimated by the physician to calculate the appropriate dose. Corticosteroids like Prednisolone should be prescribed 1 day prior to Docetaxel administration for 3 days to reduce the extent of the allergic reaction and fluid retention.

Breast cancer
Adult and elderly
Monotherapy: 60-100 mg/m2 once by infusion over 1 hour once every 3 weeks.
Together with Doxorubicin, Capecitabine or Cyclophosphamide: 75 mg/m2 once by infusion over 1 hour once every 3 weeks.
Together with Trastuzumab: 100 mg/m2 once by infusion over 1 hour once every 3 weeks.

Gastric adenocarcinoma, Head and neck cancer, Non-small cell lung cancer, Prostate cancer
Adult and elderly
75 mg/m2 by infusion over 1 hour once every 3 weeks in combination with other agents.

What are the side effects of Docetaxel?

Common side effects of Docetaxel include, but not limited to, hair loss, fluid retention, diarrhea, leukopenia, infection, muscle weakness, lung disease and fever.

Who should not take Docetaxel?

– People allergic to Docetaxel, Polysorbate 80 or any component of the formulation.
– Patients with a neutrophil count <1,500/mm3.
– Patients with severe liver impairment.
– Pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Pharmacist Tips:

– Corticosteroids like Prednisolone should be prescribed 1 day prior to Docetaxel administration for 3 days to reduce the extent of the allergic reaction and fluid retention.

Common dosing schedule:
Docetaxel injections are prescribed in institutions by the physicians.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs. 

Some common medications Docetaxel may interact with:
– Baricitinib
– 5-aminosalicylic acid derivatives, e.g. Sulfasalazine, Mesalamine, Balsalazide
– Palifermin
– Tacrolimus
– Vaccines, e.g. BCG, Smallpox and Monkeypox, COVID-19

Docetaxel may interact with many other medications. Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Docetaxel in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Docetaxel is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Docetaxel in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.