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Side Effects of


Description: Taxanes are a chemical class of diterpenes. They were originally identified from plants of the genus Taxus (yews). Paclitaxel (Taxol) and docetaxel (Taxotere) are commonly used as chemotherapy agents. The drugs Taxol and Taxotere interfere with the growth of cancer cells and slow their growth in the body. (Current Drug Metabolism Emerging Strategies and Challenges for Controlled Delivery of Taxanes: A Comprehensive Review,” Jun 2016).

Serious Side Effects of Taxase

Critical adverse reactions to Taxol include, according to the Taxol drug label as reported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: death, anaphylaxis, allergic reaction: trouble breathing, sudden swelling of your face, lips, tongue, throat, or trouble swallowing, hives (raised bumps) or rash.

Similarly, Taxotere carries many risks, and received a black box warning according to the Taxotere drug label as reported by the FDA due to severe reactions, these side effects include:

  • Toxic deaths
  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Neutropenia
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Fluid Retention
  • Common Side Effects of Taxanes

    Taxol common reactions according to the Taxol drug label: Anaphylaxis, severe hypersensitivity, low red blood cell count (anemia), feeling weak or tired, hair loss, numbness, tingling, or burning in your hands or feet (neuropathy), joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, hypersensitivity reaction – trouble breathing; sudden swelling of your face, lips, tongue, throat, or trouble swallowing; hives (raised bumps) or rash, diarrhea, mouth or lip sores (mucositis), infections – if you have a fever (temperature above 100.4°F), swelling of your hands, face, or feet, bleeding events, irritation at the injection site.

    The most commonly reported side effects of Taxotere, according to the Taxotere drug label include: infections, neutropenia, anemia, febrile neutropenia, hypersensitivity, thrombocytopenia, neuropathy, dysgeusia, dyspnea, constipation, anorexia, nail disorders, fluid retention, asthenia, pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, mucositis, alopecia, skin reactions, and myalgia.

    Less Common Side Effects of Taxanes

    Rare reactions to Taxol the Taxol drug label include:

  • Severe edema
  • Nail changes (discoloration or pigmentation)
  • Skin abnormalities
  • Sore throat
  • Chest pain
  • Taxotere rare reactions include according to the Taxotere drug label:

  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • conjunctivitis
  • hearing disorder/hearing loss
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • radiation pneumonitis
  • Understand Your Risks with the Rxight® Genetic Test

    Rxight® DNA testing for drug sensitivity – is designed to guide prescribers in find the safest and most optimal dose. Specifically, Rxight® measures your ability to metabolize over 200 drugs and over-the-counter products. All that is required is a simple non-invasive cheek swab of your DNA which will be sent to our labs for processing, followed by a detailed review of your genotyping results and flagged medications. In this way, you and your physician will know – preferably before pharmacotherapy begins – if you are sensitive to any drugs that you need to take.

    How Does Pharmacogenetic Testing Work?

    Pharmacogenetic testing came of age after the human genome was sequenced. Genetic research shows that many people have variations in their genes that are responsible for drug processing (drug metabolism). Based on the results of Rxight® pharmacogenetic test, you will know if you metabolize medications quickly (making you less likely to benefit from a standard dose) or slowly (making you susceptible to adverse reactions). Drug processing is accomplished by enzymes that are encoded in the genes. Variation in any particular gene will result in a varied enzyme that may not work as well as the gene without variation. This may translate to side effects that could be avoided by knowing beforehand your genetic disposition to altered drug metabolism.

    Contributors to this Article:
    Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry

    Taxanes Tested Include:

    • Paclitaxel (Onxol, Abraxane, Taxol)

    Read more about Rxight® DNA Testing For Medication Tolerance