Breast Cancer Home > Abraxane Side Effects
Nerve pain or unusual sensations, neutropenia, and hair loss are the most common side effects reported by people using Abraxane. Reactions that occur rarely but are more serious include irregular heart rhythm, severe mouth sores, blood in the stool, or signs of an infection. If you develop any of these serious side effects, seek medical attention immediately.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Abraxane® (protein-bound paclitaxel); however, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate Abraxane quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can be treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Abraxane. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
Abraxane has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which a group of people taking the drug have side effects documented. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they occur, and how they compare to people not taking this drug. In these studies, the most common side effects of Abraxane included:
- Hair loss -- in up to 90 percent of people (see Abraxane and Hair Loss)
- Neutropenia (low levels of a certain of white blood cells called neutrophils) -- up to 80 percent
- Nerve pain or unusual sensations, such as burning or tingling -- up to 71 percent (see Nerve and Muscle Problems During Chemotherapy)
- Changes in heart rhythm seem on an electrocardiogram (ECG) -- up to 60 percent
- Weakness -- up to 47 percent
- Anemia -- up to 33 percent (see Chemotherapy and Anemia)
- Nausea -- up to 30 percent (see Chemotherapy and Nausea).
Other common Abraxane side effects, occurring in 2 to 27 percent of people, included:
- Low platelets in the blood (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy)
- Infections (see Chemotherapy and Infections)
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Difficulty breathing
- Fluid retention or water weight gain (Fluid Retention During Chemotherapy)
- Diarrhea (see Chemotherapy-Induced Diarrhea)
- Mouth sores or sores in the digestive tract (see Mouth and Gum Problems During Chemotherapy).