The most common and primary side effect of a anti-cancer drug, docetaxel is hair loss. Get to know everything about Taxotere hair loss before taking it.
Howdy! Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cells in the body which results in tumors. Their signs, symptoms and severity differ so vastly from one person to other, making it very difficult to detect cancer in early stages. And that’s what makes it deadly. However, advanced medicine is making detection and treatment of cancer more efficient every day.
Even so, after detecting growth of cancer cells in the body it is not possible to get rid of them overnight and cure them. A patient has to undergo many treatments to cure cancer completely. One of the most common treatment these days is the usage of anti-cancer drugs. Get to know what the drug is, how it works and Taxotere hair loss here!
What is Taxotere
Taxotere is an anti-cancer drug that prevents the cancer cell from growing. It is used to treat breast, head, neck, lung, prostate and stomach cancer. Docetaxel is a non-branded name of the Taxotere. It is usually given by slow injection in the veins.
What is Taxotere Used for
It is used for fighting against different types of cancer. Also, it is used to treat the initial stages of breast cancer. A stage where cancer is not spread beyond the lymph nodes.
Chemotherapy is basically using an anti-cancer drug or chemical substances to treat the disease. In this process, the growth of cancer dividing cells is terminated. A medical blog, Web MD claims, “The chemotherapy drug Taxotere may help women with breast cancer live longer while keeping the disease at bay.”
How Does Taxotere Work
Cancer-causing drugs interfere with the mechanism of cancer cells and inhibit their growth. Cancer cells grow in a very quick manner and Taxotere drug stops them from growing and multiplying. It is usually given through the drip in the veins. Before starting the drips, doctors give a dosage of other medicines that help protect the patient from any side effects like Taxotere hair loss, swelling, redness, etc.
Infusion Chemotherapy Drugs
Chemotherapy is also known as infusion treatment in which the dosage is given through veins and is circulated throughout the body. So, it is also known as systemic therapy. Other than docetaxel, infusion drugs like Cytoxan, Alopecia, Avastin, etc. are used to cure cancer, too.
Taxotere Side Effects
The side effects may vary from person to person. If you experience any side effects that’s not listed below or if you feel anything different, contact your doctor asap.
1. Taxotere hair loss is one of the most common side effects of this drug.
2. The count of white blood cells is reduced and this makes the body prone to infections. White blood cells fight against the foreign cells in the body. When the count of WBCs is reduced, there is no one to attack the foreign particles and hence the body is more susceptible to infections.
3. One’s appetite is reduced as the patient feels nauseous.
4. The fingernails are discolored, but one may get back the color after the treatment is complete.
5. Not only white blood cells, the number of red blood cells is also lowered. RBCs contain hemoglobin that carries oxygen all over the body. When the count is reduced, there comes a stage when oxygen is not supplied to the body and one may experience breathlessness and fatigue.
6. A low cell count may also make the patient feel weak and it may take 6 months to 1 year to get back the energy levels.
7. Diarrhea is another one of the side effects. It is better to have more water and stay hydrated.
8. Other side effects like muscle pain, missed periods, rashes over the body are also seen.
Taxotere Hair Loss
Taxotere is usually given for months depending on the dosage and the stage of cancer. The hair starts to fall after two to three weeks of the onset of treatment. Not only the hair on the head, but eyelashes, eyebrows, underarms and pubic hair start to shed. Taxotere hair loss may be gradual or rapid depending on the dosage and the body’s resistance. A few drugs like alopecia cause the hair to shed in one shot rather the hair loss gradually.
When drugs like Taxotere are used they usually attack the fast-growing cells like the cancer cells. There are a few cells in the body that are fast growing like the cells packed in hair follicles. So, while working against the tumor cells, the drug also attacks the cells of hair follicles and therefore this results in hair loss.
Can Chemo Cause Permanent Hair Loss
Neither chemo nor Taxotere causes permanent hair loss. As I mentioned earlier, hair loss happens as the drug is injected or taken, and after the treatment, the hair regrows. Taxotere hair loss is not permanent. It may take time for the hair to grow post-treatment, however, the hair may be much thinner or of a different texture than it was before. Also, there is a possibility to get a different hair color.
How Long Do Taxotere Side Effects Last?
It all depends on how one reacts to the medication dosage. But, the best part is that the Docetaxel side effects are reversible and after stopping the drug usage things become normal in a few weeks to months. The side effects last as long as the drug is used. Once, the body is kept away from the drugs, it starts to regain its loss. It may take little time but surely it will become close to its normal pre-treatment stage. However, hair growth may also be patchy.
So, this is all about Taxotere hair loss and other side effects! Do let us know your thoughts and experience by tweeting @shilpa1ahuja.