Safety Alerts & Recalls
What does this mean?
If you are receiving treatment with docetaxel, please be aware that docetaxel may cause you to become intoxicated or feel drunk from the alcohol it contains. Please speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about the alcohol in docetaxel.
You should avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing other activities that are dangerous for 1 to 2 hours after receiving an infusion of docetaxel. In addition, some medications, such as pain relievers and sleep aids, may interact with the alcohol in the docetaxel infusion and worsen the intoxicating effects.
If you have any questions about this alert or your medicines, please follow up with your doctor.
Patients and healthcare providers are encouraged to report side effects related to the use of medicines to the FDA's MedWatch program. You can reach MedWatch by:
--- Telephone: 1-800-332-1088
--- Fax: 1-800-332-0178
--- Mail: MedWatch, FDA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787
--- Website: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm
FDA Warns: Docetaxel May Cause Alcohol Intoxication
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about a possible side effect caused by the chemotherapy medicine docetaxel. Docetaxel contains ethanol, also known as alcohol, which may cause patients to experience intoxication or to feel drunk during and after treatment. The prescribing information for docetaxel will be updated to warn about this risk.
Docetaxel is a prescription chemotherapy medicine used to treat different kinds of cancer, including cancers of the breast, prostate, stomach, head and neck cancers, and non-small-cell lung cancer. Several forms of docetaxel are currently marketed, including generics and the brand name products Taxotere, Docefrez, and Docetaxel Injection. The various products contain different amounts of alcohol, which is used to dissolve the medicine so it can be given intravenously (through a vein in your arm).
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