The Paclitaxel is used in the therapy of different tumors , including in particular the ovarian carcinomas, breast and lung non-small cell.
How does Paclitaxel work?
Paclitaxel is an antineoplastic agent of the Taxani group . It is a herbal medicine extracted from the roots of the Pacific badger (Taxus Brevifolia), which is currently synthesized in the laboratory. This substance acts by inhibiting the division process of the cell nucleus (mitosis), therefore it is used in cancer chemotherapy , since it manages to stop the development of new cells.
How is Paclitaxel administered?
Paclitaxel is taken by infusion into a vein , with the technique of drip drop administration , or by direct intravenous injection. It can be administered either in combination with other drugs, or on its own.
Side effects of Paclitaxel
This drug has many side effects, similar to those caused by other chemotherapy drugs. The side effects caused by taking Paclitaxel are numerous. The most frequent are a feeling of fatigue ( asthenia ) and loss of appetite , but these symptoms can be followed by:
- He retched
- pain or ulcers of the oral cavity
- hair loss and other hair covering the body
- numbness or tingling in hands and feet
- temporary reduction in bone marrow production of blood cells (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets)
With the conclusion of therapy, these side effects tend to regress. Like all other medicines, paclitaxed can induce allergic reactions, among which the following are reported:
- redness localized to the face
- feeling dizzy
- shortness of breath
- increased urination
Abdominal, joint and muscle pain and headache can occur a few days after treatment, but usually subside in a short time.
Contraindications and warnings on the use of Paclitaxel
You should always tell your doctor before taking other medications if you are following any therapies, since different medications can interact with it.
Like other chemotherapy drugs , Paclitaxel is the cause of cell mutations, therefore it is not advisable to become pregnant within five years of the end of chemotherapy.
This drug can cause infertility in men , which may be permanent in a small percentage of people. Therefore, it is good practice to evaluate with your doctor if, before the start of chemotherapy , it is not appropriate to store the sperm . Since prolonged contact with solar radiation during chemotherapy can cause severe redness and sunburn, direct and prolonged exposure to the sun is not recommended.
Breastfeeding is strongly discouraged during Paclitaxel therapy .