Taxol Warnings and Precautions

Reviewing Taxol warnings and precautions before taking it can help ensure a safe treatment process. For example, the drug may cause side effects or serious complications, such as an irregular heart rhythm, slow heart rate, nerve problems, or life-threatening allergic reactions. Taxol warnings and precautions also extend to those who are allergic to any components of the medicine or who have a low neutrophil count prior to starting it.

Taxol: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Taxol® (paclitaxel) if you have:
 
  • A history of low levels of white blood cells in the blood
  • Any infection
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Taxol Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Taxol include the following:
 
  • The medication can decrease the bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells. This can result in anemia and other serious conditions. Because your immune system depends on certain blood cells, you may be more susceptible to infections while taking Taxol (see Chemotherapy and Infections). You may also be at a higher risk for bleeding (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy). You will need regular blood tests to make sure that your blood counts are not too low.
     
  • Taxol can cause life-threatening allergic reactions. Everyone taking the drug should be "premedicated" with certain medications before each Taxol dosage in order to prevent this.
     
  • Taxol can cause an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). If you develop a severe arrhythmia during an infusion, your heart rhythm should be monitored carefully (using a heart monitor) during any future doses.
     
  • Some people develop a slow heart rate (bradycardia), low blood pressure (hypotension), or high blood pressure (hypertension) during their Taxol infusions. Your heart rate and blood pressure should be monitored frequently during your infusion.
     
  • The medication can cause nerve problems, including nerve pain, weakness, or unusual sensations of burning or tingling (see Nerve and Muscle Problems During Chemotherapy).
     
  • If you have liver disease, you may need a lower Taxol dosage.
     
  • Taxol can interact with other medications (see Taxol Drug Interactions).
     
  • Taxol is considered a pregnancy Category D medication. This means that it is probably not safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits taking the drug while pregnant (see Taxol and Pregnancy).
     
  • It is not known if Taxol passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Taxol and Breastfeeding).
     
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Taxol Chemotherapy Information

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