Abraxane

paclitaxel (protein bound)

By Abraxis BioScience

What side effects are possible with this medication?

A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. It can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent, but does not occur in everyone. The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people using this medication. If you develop any of these side effects (or any other side effects not listed here) or they change in intensity, speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice on managing them and on the risks and benefits of the medication.

  • black or tarry stools or blood in urine
  • blurred vision or other visual changes
  • chest pain
  • cough or hoarseness
  • diarrhea or loose, runny stools
  • facial swelling occurring during or shortly after treatment
  • fever or chills
  • flushing, fast, or irregular heartbeat; or lightheadedness occurring during your treatment
  • low blood pressure
  • numbness, burning, or tingling in hands or feet
  • pain in joint or muscles that may begin 2 to 3 days after treatment
  • pinpoint-sized red spots on skin
  • redness, heat, irritation or pain, swelling, or lump at the site of injection
  • severe skin reaction
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash or itching
  • sores in mouth and on lips
  • swelling of ankles and joints
  • temporary loss of hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair about 2 to 3 weeks after treatment
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • upset stomach (or nausea) and vomiting
Click here to learn about serious side effects that can potentially occur with any medication. These examples are provided for information purposes only and are not meant to be exhaustive. Always consult your doctor for sound medical advice specific to your particular medication and treatment.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone at 1-800-332-1088.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Albumin (human): This medication contains albumin (human), a derivative of human blood, and therefore carries an extremely remote risk for transmission of viral diseases.

Allergic reactions: An allergic reaction, including dizziness, rash, swelling of the mouth and throat, and difficulty breathing, may be experienced by some people. Call your doctor and seek immediate medical attention if you think you are having an allergic reaction.

Arrhythmia: You may experience a worsening of your condition due to this medication if you have heart rhythm problems. Speak with your doctor about your condition and if any special monitoring is required while you use this medication.

Blood cell count: This medication can affect many types of your blood cells. Your doctor will monitor your blood cell counts by performing tests frequently.

Infection: As well as killing cancer cells, this medication can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). Avoid contact with people with contagious infections and tell your doctor if you begin to notice signs of an infection, such as fever or chills.

Liver disease: You may experience increased side effects from paclitaxel if you have impaired liver function. Talk to your doctor about your condition, how your condition may affect the dosing of this medication, and if any special monitoring is needed while you use this medication.

Risk of bleeding: This medication can reduce the number of platelet cells in the blood. Platelets help the blood to clot, and a shortage could make you bleed more easily. Tell your doctor of any signs that your blood is not clotting as quickly as usual. Such symptoms may include black and tarry stools, blood in the urine, easy bruising, or cuts that do not stop bleeding.

Sensory changes: Some people may experience numbness, tingling, or pain in the arms and legs while receiving this medication. The medication dose may need to be adjusted or discontinued if severe symptoms develop.

Skin reactions: This medication has been associated with serious skin reactions including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). If you notice symptoms including a rash, itching, blistering or peeling skin, stop using this medication and contact your doctor right away.

Pregnancy: This medication may harm the baby if used during pregnancy or by a male at time of conception. Effective birth control should be used while using this medication for both men and women. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if paclitaxel passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between paclitaxel and any of the following:

  • ethinyl estradiol
  • testosterone
  • tretinoin

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

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The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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