What is this medication for?
Paclitaxel belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics. Paclitaxel works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body. This medication is used to treat metastatic breast cancer when treatment with other medications have not worked.
This medication is a special form of paclitaxel because it is bound to protein, which affects the way it works in the body. This formulation of paclitaxel should not be substituted for regular paclitaxel.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Abraxane® is available as:
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended dose and dosing schedule of paclitaxel varies according to the response to treatment, and other medications or treatments being used. The dose given is also based on body size.
Paclitaxel is usually injected intravenously (into a vein) by a qualified health care professional through a specially prepared site on your skin. It is often scheduled to be given in this manner over 30 minutes once every 3 weeks.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. Very careful handling of this medication is required. It is always given under the supervision of a doctor in a hospital or similar setting with access to sterile equipment for preparation.
It is important that this medication be given exactly as recommended by your doctor. If you miss an appointment to receive paclitaxel, contact your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.
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Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to paclitaxel, albumin, or any ingredients of the medication
- have a very low level of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) in their blood