PACLITAXEL is a chemotherapy drug. It targets fast dividing cells, like cancer cells, and causes these cells to die. This medicine is used to treat ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and other cancers. Compare microtubule inhibitors.

Taxol Side Effects

What should I watch for?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. You will need important blood work done while you are taking this medicine.

This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.

This medicine can cause serious allergic reactions. To reduce your risk you will need to take other medicine(s) before treatment with this medicine.

In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.

Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.

Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.

Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.

Men are advised not to father a child while receiving this medicine.

This product may contain alcohol. Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider if this medicine contains alcohol. Be sure to tell all healthcare providers you are taking this medicine. Certain medicines, like metronidazole and disulfiram, can cause an unpleasant reaction when taken with alcohol. The reaction includes flushing, headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and increased thirst. The reaction can last from 30 minutes to several hours.


Interactions with Medications

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Black or tarry stools

blurred vision

burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations


cough or hoarseness with fever or chills

dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position

feeling of warmth

fever or chills

lower back or side pain

painful or difficult urination

pale skin

redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest

shortness of breath

skin rash or itching

sore throat


troubled breathing with exertion

ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth

unsteadiness or awkwardness

unusual bleeding or bruising

unusual tiredness or weakness

weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet

Less common

Blood in the urine or stools

difficult or labored breathing

pinpoint red spots on the skin

shortness of breath (severe)

slow heartbeat

tightness in the chest


Incidence not known


blue lips, fingernails, or skin

difficult or troubled breathing


fast heartbeat

irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing

sudden shortness of breath

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site

cracked lips


difficulty with swallowing

hair loss

nausea or vomiting

numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet

pain in the joints or muscles, especially in the arms or legs

thinning of the hair

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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