In order to first understand Taxol side effects, it is important to understand the nature of the drug. Taxol is the brand name of the mitotic inhibitor Paclitaxel, commonly used in cancer chemotherapy. Commercially sold by the company Bristol-Myers Squibb, Phase I trials of Taxol began way back in April of 1984 and have been produced non-commercially since 1967 (originally from the bark of Pacific Yew). Below are the ten most common Taxol side effects reported:
- Nausea and vomiting. Among the most common side effects of Taxol is the infamous "nauseous stomach" feeling. Nausea and subsequent vomiting are two of the most commonly reported side effects of Paclitaxel.
- Loss of appetite. Going hand-in-hand with nausea, a lack of an appetite is commonly cited as one of the usual Taxol side effects. An odd change in taste can also come up as a result of Paclitaxel injections.
- Pain in joints. Pain in the joints of one's arms and/or legs is common among patients receiving dosages of Paclitaxel. The pain should last anywhere from two to three days, but different patients react differently to similar doses.
- Brittle hair. Thin and/or brittle hair is a very common, and well known, side-effect of chemotherapy (and Taxol in specific). Hair loss can also accompany this, albeit any serious loss of pelage should be reported to one's certified health professional.
- Weakness. This goes along with nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Put those symptoms together with some pain in the joints and a patient will commonly report feeling very "weak". Severe weakness should be reported, as this is less common.
- Pale skin and excessive fatigue. Excessive tiredness could be a sign of a serious problem with Paclitaxel, and should not be taken lightly. Any sort of paling of the skin should also be reported ASAP to a certified health professional. These symptoms are a sign of an overdose.
- Chest pain and palpitations. Any sort of irregular or slow heartbeat is not okay and should immediately be addressed. Chest pain, as well, is not a common side effect of Taxol and is a very serious adverse effect.
- Numbness, burning, and tingling. Feelings of numbness, burning, and/or tingling of the hands and feet should immediately be reported. This is a serious side effect that sometimes indicates an overdose.
- Unusual bruising or bleeding. Bleeding/bruising in unusual areas for no apparent reason is very serious. This is also a symptom of a Taxol overdose. Similarly, look out for sores in the mouth, as they too indicate that something is seriously wrong.
- Fainting. This is a rare but serious side effect. Along with difficulty breathing/swallowing, hives, a rash, swelling of specific areas, and flushing, fainting is a sign of a possible allergic reaction to Taxol.
Taxol is a drug that must be administered under the professional supervision of a licensed doctor. Consult your doctor if you have any questions about Taxol. The above article concerning Taxol side effects was purely informative in nature, and absolutely not meant to substitute for the advice of a trained medical professional. Taxol injections should always be considered and administered carefully.