How It Works
Paclitaxel interferes with the cancer cell's ability to reproduce.
Paclitaxel is an
intravenous (IV) medicine. The type and extent of a
cancer determines the exact dose and schedule of administering this
Why It Is Used
Paclitaxel slows or stops the growth and spread of cancer cells in
the body. It is commonly used to treat breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical
Kaposi's sarcoma, bladder cancer, and non-small cell
How Well It Works
Paclitaxel is an effective antitumor medicine. But the type
and extent of a cancer determines how effectively this medicine slows or
stops the growth of cancer cells in the body.
Possible serious side effects of paclitaxel
- Allergic reactions. Signs of allergic
reaction can include trouble breathing; swelling or closing of the throat;
swollen face, tongue, or lips; or
- Feeling extremely tired, bruising or
bleeding easily, or signs of infection such as a fever or chills.
These symptoms may mean that the medicine caused the numbers of your
white or red blood cells or platelets to drop.
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes or belly pain.
This may mean the medicine has damaged your liver.
- Severe nausea and
- Numbness and tingling in the hands or feet (peripheral
- A drop in the heart rate (bradycardia) or blood
pressure (hypotension). Your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored
while you are receiving this medicine.
Less serious side effects are more common and may
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Paclitaxel should be administered only under the supervision of a
You may not be able to become pregnant or father a child after
taking this medicine. Discuss fertility with your doctor before starting
Paclitaxel can cause birth defects. Do not use this medicine if
you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant or to father a child while you are
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.