Docetaxel (Page 6 of 12)

6.2 Post-Marketing Experiences

The following adverse reactions have been identified from clinical trials and/or post-marketing surveillance. Because they are reported from a population of unknown size, precise estimates of frequency cannot be made.

Body as a whole: diffuse pain, chest pain, radiation recall phenomenon.

Cardiovascular: atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, ECG abnormalities, thrombophlebitis, pulmonary embolism, syncope, tachycardia, myocardial infarction.

Cutaneous: very rare cases of cutaneous lupus erythematosus and rare cases of bullous eruptions such as erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and Scleroderma-like changes usually preceded by peripheral lymphedema. In some cases multiple factors may have contributed to the development of these effects. Severe hand and foot syndrome has been reported. Cases of permanent alopecia have been reported.

Gastrointestinal: abdominal pain, anorexia, constipation, duodenal ulcer, esophagitis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, gastrointestinal perforation, ischemic colitis, colitis, intestinal obstruction, ileus, neutropenic enterocolitis and dehydration as a consequence to gastrointestinal events have been reported.

Hematologic: bleeding episodes. Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), often in association with sepsis or multiorgan failure, has been reported. Cases of acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplasic syndrome have been reported in association with docetaxel when used in combination with other chemotherapy agents and/or radiotherapy.
Hypersensitivity: rare cases of anaphylactic shock have been reported. Very rarely these cases resulted in a fatal outcome in patients who received premedication.

Hepatic: rare cases of hepatitis, sometimes fatal primarily in patients with pre-existing liver disorders, have been reported.

Neurologic: confusion, rare cases of seizures or transient loss of consciousness have been observed, sometimes appearing during the infusion of the drug.

Ophthalmologic:conjunctivitis, lacrimation or lacrimation with or without conjunctivitis. Excessive tearing which may be attributable to lacrimal duct obstruction has been reported. Rare cases of transient visual disturbances (flashes, flashing lights, scotomata) typically occurring during drug infusion and in association with hypersensitivity reactions have been reported. These were reversible upon discontinuation of the infusion. Cases of cystoid macular edema (CME) have been reported in patients treated with docetaxel.

Hearing: rare cases of ototoxicity, hearing disorders and/or hearing loss have been reported, including cases associated with other ototoxic drugs.

Respiratory: dyspnea, acute pulmonary edema, acute respiratory distress syndrome/pneumonitis, interstitial lung disease, interstitial pneumonia, respiratory failure, and pulmonary fibrosis have rarely been reported and may be associated with fatal outcome. Rare cases of radiation pneumonitis have been reported in patients receiving concomitant radiotherapy.

Renal: renal insufficiency and renal failure have been reported, the majority of these cases were associated with concomitant nephrotoxic drugs.

Metabolism and nutrition disorders: cases of hyponatremia have been reported.


Docetaxel is a CYP3A4 substrate. In vitro studies have shown that the metabolism of docetaxel may be modified by the concomitant administration of compounds that induce, inhibit, or are metabolized by cytochrome P450 3A4.

In vivo studies showed that the exposure of docetaxel increased 2.2-fold when it was coadministered with ketoconazole, a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4. Protease inhibitors, particularly ritonavir, may increase the exposure of docetaxel. Concomitant use of Docetaxel Injection and drugs that inhibit CYP3A4 may increase exposure to docetaxel and should be avoided. In patients receiving treatment with Docetaxel Injection, close monitoring for toxicity and a Docetaxel Injection dose reduction could be considered if systemic administration of a potent CYP3A4 inhibitor cannot be avoided [see Dosage and Administration (2.7) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category D. [see ‘Warnings and Precautions’ section]

Based on its mechanism of action and findings in animals, Docetaxel Injection can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. If Docetaxel Injection is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while receiving this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant during therapy with Docetaxel Injection.

Docetaxel Injection can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Studies in both rats and rabbits at doses ≥0.3 and 0.03 mg/kg/day, respectively (about 1/50 and 1/300 the daily maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m 2 basis), administered during the period of organogenesis, have shown that docetaxel is embryotoxic and fetotoxic (characterized by intrauterine mortality, increased resorption, reduced fetal weight, and fetal ossification delay). The doses indicated above also caused maternal toxicity.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether docetaxel is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Docetaxel Injection, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

8.4 Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of Docetaxel Injection in pediatric patients have not been established. The alcohol content of Docetaxel Injection should be taken into account when given to pediatric patients [ see Warnings and Precautions (5.11) ].

8.5 Geriatric Use

In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy in elderly patients.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

In a study conducted in chemotherapy-naïve patients with NSCLC (TAX326), 148 patients (36%) in the docetaxel+cisplatin group were 65 years of age or greater. There were 128 patients (32%) in the vinorelbine+cisplatin group 65 years of age or greater. In the docetaxel+cisplatin group, patients < 65 years of age had a median survival of 10.3 months (95% CI: 9.1 months, 11.8 months) and patients 65 years or older had a median survival of 12.1 months (95% CI: 9.3 months, 14 months). In patients 65 years of age or greater treated with docetaxel+cisplatin, diarrhea (55%), peripheral edema (39%) and stomatitis (28%) were observed more frequently than in the vinorelbine+cisplatin group (diarrhea 24%, peripheral edema 20%, stomatitis 20%). Patients treated with docetaxel+cisplatin who were 65 years of age or greater were more likely to experience diarrhea (55%), infections (42%), peripheral edema (39%) and stomatitis (28%) compared to patients < the age of 65 administered the same treatment (43%, 31%, 31% and 21%, respectively).

When docetaxel was combined with carboplatin for the treatment of chemotherapy-naïve, advanced non-small cell lung carcinoma, patients 65 years of age or greater (28%) experienced higher frequency of infection compared to similar patients treated with docetaxel+cisplatin, and a higher frequency of diarrhea, infection and peripheral edema than elderly patients treated with vinorelbine+cisplatin.

Prostate Cancer

Of the 333 patients treated with docetaxel every three weeks plus prednisone in the prostate cancer study (TAX327), 209 patients were 65 years of age or greater and 68 patients were older than 75 years. In patients treated with docetaxel every three weeks, the following treatment emergent adverse reactions occurred at rates ≥10% higher in patients 65 years of age or greater compared to younger patients: anemia (71% vs. 59%), infection (37% vs. 24%), nail changes (34% vs. 23%), anorexia (21% vs. 10%), weight loss (15% vs. 5%) respectively.

Breast Cancer

In the adjuvant breast cancer trial (TAX316), docetaxel in combination with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide was administered to 744 patients of whom 48 (6%) were 65 years of age or greater. The number of elderly patients who received this regimen was not sufficient to determine whether there were differences in safety and efficacy between elderly and younger patients.

Gastric Cancer

Among the 221 patients treated with docetaxel in combination with cisplatin and fluorouracil in the gastric cancer study, 54 were 65 years of age or older and 2 patients were older than 75 years. In this study, the number of patients who were 65 years of age or older was insufficient to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients. However, the incidence of serious adverse reactions was higher in the elderly patients compared to younger patients. The incidence of the following adverse reactions (all grades, regardless of relationship): lethargy, stomatitis, diarrhea, dizziness, edema, febrile neutropenia/neutropenic infection occurred at rates ≥ 10% higher in patients who were 65 years of age or older compared to younger patients. Elderly patients treated with TCF should be closely monitored.

Head and Neck Cancer

Among the 174 and 251 patients who received the induction treatment with docetaxel in combination with cisplatin and fluorouracil (TPF) for SCCHN in the TAX323 and TAX324 studies, 18 (10%) and 32 (13%) of the patients were 65 years of age or older, respectively.

These clinical studies of docetaxel in combination with cisplatin and fluorouracil in patients with SCCHN did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients. Other reported clinical experience with this treatment regimen has not identified differences in responses between elderly and younger patients.

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