Enterocolitis and neutropenic colitis (typhlitis) have occurred in patients treated with docetaxel alone and in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents, despite the coadministration of G-CSF. Caution is recommended for patients with neutropenia, particularly at risk for developing gastrointestinal complications. Enterocolitis and neutropenic enterocolitis may develop at any time, and could lead to death as early as the first day of symptom onset. Monitor patients closely from onset of any symptoms of gastrointestinal toxicity. Inform patients to contact their healthcare provider with new, or worsening symptoms of gastrointestinal toxicity [see Dosage and Administration ( 2), Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3), Adverse Reactions ( 6.2)].
Monitor patients closely for hypersensitivity reactions, especially during the first and second infusions. Severe hypersensitivity reactions characterized by generalized rash/erythema, hypotension and/or bronchospasm, or fatal anaphylaxis, have been reported in patients premedicated with 3 days of corticosteroids. Severe hypersensitivity reactions require immediate discontinuation of the docetaxel infusion and aggressive therapy. Do not rechallenge patients with a history of severe hypersensitivity reactions with docetaxel [see Contraindications ( 4)].
Patients who have previously experienced a hypersensitivity reaction to paclitaxel may develop a hypersensitivity reaction to docetaxel that may include severe or fatal reactions such as anaphylaxis. Monitor patients with a previous history of hypersensitivity to paclitaxel closely during initiation of docetaxel therapy. Hypersensitivity reactions may occur within a few minutes following initiation of a docetaxel infusion. If minor reactions such as flushing or localized skin reactions occur, interruption of therapy is not required. All patients should be premedicated with an oral corticosteroid prior to the initiation of the infusion of docetaxel [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.6)].
Severe fluid retention has been reported following docetaxel therapy. Patients should be premedicated with oral corticosteroids prior to each docetaxel administration to reduce the incidence and severity of fluid retention [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.6)]. Patients with pre-existing effusions should be closely monitored from the first dose for the possible exacerbation of the effusions.
When fluid retention occurs, peripheral edema usually starts in the lower extremities and may become generalized with a median weight gain of 2 kg.
Among 92 breast cancer patients premedicated with 3-day corticosteroids, moderate fluid retention occurred in 27.2% and severe fluid retention in 6.5%. The median cumulative dose to onset of moderate or severe fluid retention was 819 mg/m 2. Nine of 92 patients (9.8%) of patients discontinued treatment due to fluid retention: 4 patients discontinued with severe fluid retention; the remaining 5 had mild or moderate fluid retention. The median cumulative dose to treatment discontinuation due to fluid retention was 1021 mg/m 2. Fluid retention was completely, but sometimes slowly, reversible with a median of 16 weeks from the last infusion of docetaxel to resolution (range: 0 to 42+ weeks). Patients developing peripheral edema may be treated with standard measures, e.g. , salt restriction, oral diuretic(s).
Second primary malignancies, notably acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), and renal cancer, have been reported in patients treated with docetaxel-containing regimens. These adverse reactions may occur several months or years after docetaxel-containing therapy.
Treatment-related AML or MDS has occurred in patients given anthracyclines and/or cyclophosphamide, including use in adjuvant therapy for breast cancer. In the adjuvant breast cancer trial ( TAX316) AML occurred in 3 of 744 patients who received docetaxel, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (TAC) and in 1 of 736 patients who received fluorouracil, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide [see Clinical Studies ( 14.2)]. In TAC-treated patients, the risk of delayed myelodysplasia or myeloid leukemia requires hematological follow-up. Monitor patients for second primary malignancies [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
Localized erythema of the extremities with edema followed by desquamation has been observed. In case of severe skin toxicity, an adjustment in dosage is recommended [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.7)] . The discontinuation rate due to skin toxicity was 1.6% (15/965) for metastatic breast cancer patients. Among 92 breast cancer patients premedicated with 3-day corticosteroids, there were no cases of severe skin toxicity reported and no patient discontinued docetaxel due to skin toxicity.
Severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs) such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP) have been reported in association with docetaxel treatment. Patients should be informed about the signs and symptoms of serious skin manifestations and monitored closely. Permanent treatment discontinuation should be considered in patients who experience SCARs.
Severe neurosensory symptoms (e.g. paresthesia, dysesthesia, pain) were observed in 5.5% (53/965) of metastatic breast cancer patients, and resulted in treatment discontinuation in 6.1%. When these symptoms occur, dosage must be adjusted. If symptoms persist, treatment should be discontinued [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.7)] . Patients who experienced neurotoxicity in clinical trials and for whom follow-up information on the complete resolution of the event was available had spontaneous reversal of symptoms with a median of 9 weeks from onset (range: 0 to 106 weeks). Severe peripheral motor neuropathy mainly manifested as distal extremity weakness occurred in 4.4% (42/965).
Cystoid macular edema (CME) has been reported in patients treated with docetaxel. Patients with impaired vision should undergo a prompt and comprehensive ophthalmologic examination. If CME is diagnosed, docetaxel treatment should be discontinued and appropriate treatment initiated. Alternative non-taxane cancer treatment should be considered.
Severe asthenia has been reported in 14.9% (144/965) of metastatic breast cancer patients but has led to treatment discontinuation in only 1.8%. Symptoms of fatigue and weakness may last a few days up to several weeks and may be associated with deterioration of performance status in patients with progressive disease.
Based on findings from animal reproduction studies and its mechanism of action, docetaxel can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.1)]. Available data from case reports in the literature and pharmacovigilance with docetaxel use in pregnant women are not sufficient to inform the drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. In animal reproduction studies, administration of docetaxel to pregnant rats and rabbits during the period of organogenesis caused embryo-fetal toxicities, including intrauterine mortality, at doses as low as 0.02 and 0.003 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area, respectively.
Advise pregnant women and females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus. Verify pregnancy status in females of reproductive potential prior to initiating docetaxel. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment and for 6 months after the last dose of docetaxel. Advise male patients with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment and for 3 months after the last dose of docetaxel [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1, 8.3)].
Cases of intoxication have been reported with some formulations of docetaxel due to the alcohol content. The alcohol content in a dose of docetaxel injection may affect the central nervous system and should be taken into account for patients in whom alcohol intake should be avoided or minimized. Consideration should be given to the alcohol content in docetaxel injection on the ability to drive or use machines immediately after the infusion. Each administration of docetaxel injection at 100 mg/m 2 delivers 2.0 g/m 2 of ethanol. For a patient with a BSA of 2.0 m 2 , this would deliver 4.0 grams of ethanol [see Description ( 11)] . Other docetaxel products may have a different amount of alcohol.
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