Paclitaxel is a medication used for the treatment of different types of cancer, including lung, ovarian, and breast cancer. It stops cancer cells from growing and multiplying by interfering with certain cell structures. Paclitaxel, which is given by IV, can be administered at a hospital, "infusion center," or healthcare provider's office. Side effects can include hair loss, neutropenia, leukopenia, and anemia.

What Is Paclitaxel?

Paclitaxel (Taxol®) is a prescription medication that is part of a group of chemotherapy medications called taxanes. It is approved to be used in the following ways:
  • Used alone or in combination with cisplatin (Platinol®) for advanced ovarian cancer (cancer that had spread or is starting to spread to other parts of the body)
  • In a chemotherapy regimen containing doxorubicin (Adriamycin®) for node-positive breast cancer that has spread to a lymph node after breast cancer surgery
  • To treat metastatic breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body after other chemotherapy regimens have failed
  • To treat breast cancer that has returned within six months of chemotherapy after breast cancer surgery
  • Used with cisplatin to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is not likely to be cured by surgery or radiation
  • To treat AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma that has not responded to other treatments.
(Click What Is Paclitaxel Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Paclitaxel is made by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
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