What is it and how is it used?

The name of this medicine is TAXOTERE. Its common name is docetaxel. Docetaxel is a substance derived from the needles of yew trees.
Docetaxel belongs to the group of anti-cancer medicines called taxoids.

TAXOTERE has been prescribed by your doctor for the treatment of breast cancer, special forms of lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer), prostate cancer, gastric cancer or head and neck cancer:

  • For the treatment of advanced breast cancer, TAXOTERE could be administered either alone or incombination with doxorubicin, or trastuzumab, or capecitabine.
  • For the treatment of early breast cancer with or without lymph node involvement, TAXOTERE couldbe administered in combination with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide.
  • For the treatment of lung cancer, TAXOTERE could be administered either alone or in combinationwith cisplatin.
  • For the treatment of prostate cancer, TAXOTERE is administered in combination with prednisone orprednisolone.
  • For the treatment of metastatic gastric cancer, TAXOTERE is administered in combination withcisplatin and 5-fluorouracil.
  • For the treatment of head and neck cancer, TAXOTERE is administered in combination withcisplatin and 5-fluorouracil.
Table of Contents
What do you have to consider before using it?
How is it used?
What are possible side effects?
How should it be stored?
Further information

What do you have to consider before using it?

You must not be given TAXOTERE

  • if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to docetaxel or any of the other ingredients of TAXOTERE.
  • if the number of white blood cells is too low.
  • if you have a severe liver disease.
Take special care with TAXOTERE

Before each treatment with TAXOTERE, you will have blood tests to check that you have enough blood cells and sufficient liver function to receive TAXOTERE. In case of white blood cells disturbances, you may experience associated fever or infections.

You will be asked to take premedication consisting of an oral corticosteroid such as dexamethasone, one day prior to TAXOTERE administration and to continue for one or two days after it in order to minimise certain undesirable effects which may occur after the infusion of TAXOTERE in particular allergic reactions and fluid retention (swelling of the hands, feet, legs or weight gain).

During treatment, you may be given other medicines to maintain the number of your blood cells.

TAXOTERE contains alcohol. Discuss with your doctor if you suffer from alcohol dependency or liver impairment. See also section ?Important information about some of the ingredients of TAXOTERE? below.

Taking other medicines

Please tell your doctor or hospital pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicine, including medicines obtained without a prescription. This is because TAXOTERE or the other medicine may not work as well as expected and you may be more likely to get a side effect.

Pregnancy

Ask your doctor for advice before being given any medicine.

TAXOTERE must NOT be administered if you are pregnant unless clearly indicated by your doctor.

You must not become pregnant during treatment with this medicine and must use an effective method of contraception during therapy , because TAXOTERE may be harmful for the unborn baby. If pregnancy occurs during your treatment, you must immediately inform your doctor.

If you are a man being treated with TAXOTERE you are advised not to father a child during and up to 6 months after treatment and to seek advice on conservation of sperm prior to treatment because docetaxel may alter male fertility.

Breast-feeding

You must not breast-feed while you are treated with TAXOTERE.

Driving and using machines

There is no reason why you cannot drive between courses of TAXOTERE except if you feel dizzy or are unsure of yourself.

Important information about some of the ingredients of TAXOTERE.

This medicinal product contains 50 vol % ethanol (alcohol), i.e. up to 0.395 g (0.5 ml) per vial, equivalent to 10 ml of beer or 4 ml wine per vial.
Harmful for those suffering from alcoholism.
To be taken into account if you are pregnant or if you are breast-feeding women, in children and high-risk groups such as patients with liver disease, or epilepsy.

The amount of alcohol in this medicinal product may alter the effects of other medicines.

The amount of alcohol in this medicine may impair your ability to drive or use machines.

How is it used?

TAXOTERE will be administered to you by a healthcare professional.

Usual dose

The dose will depend on your weight and your general condition. Your doctor will calculate your body surface area in square meters (m²) and will determine the dose you should receive.

Method and route of administration

TAXOTERE will be given by infusion into one of your veins (intravenous use). The infusion will last approximately one hour during which you will be in the hospital.

Frequency of administration

You should usually receive your infusion once every 3 weeks.

Your doctor may change the dose and frequency of dosing depending on your blood tests, your general condition and your response to TAXOTERE. In particular, please inform your doctor in case of diarrhoea, sores in the mouth, feeling of numbness or pins and needles, fever and give her/him results of your blood tests. Such information will allow her/him to decide whether a dose reduction is needed. If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor, or hospital pharmacist.

What are possible side effects?

Like all medicines, TAXOTERE can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Your doctor will discuss these with you and will explain the potential risks and benefits of your treatment.

The frequency of possible side effects listed below is defined using the following convention: very common (affects more than 1 user in 10); common (affects 1 to 10 users in 100); uncommon (affects 1 to 10 users in 1,000); rare (affects 1 to 10 users in 10,000); very rare (affects less than 1 user in 10,000); not known (frequency cannot be estimated from the available data).

The most commonly reported adverse reactions of TAXOTERE alone are: decrease in the number of red blood cells or white blood cells, alopecia, nausea, vomiting, sores in the mouth, diarrhoea and tiredness.

The severity of adverse events of TAXOTERE may be increased when TAXOTERE is given in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents.

During the infusion at the hospital the following allergic reactions (experienced in more than 1 person in 10) may occur:

  • flushing, skin reactions, itching
  • chest tightness; difficulty in breathing
  • fever or chills
  • back pain
  • low blood pressure. More severe reactions may occur.

The hospital staff will monitor your condition closely during treatment. Tell them immediately if you notice any of these effects.

Between infusions of TAXOTERE the following may occur, and the frequency may vary with the combinations of medicines that are received

Very common (affects more than 1 user in 10):

  • infections, decrease in the number of red (anaemia), or white blood cells (which are important in fighting infection) and platelets
  • fever: if this happens you must tell your doctor immediately
  • allergic reactions as described above
  • loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • insomnia
  • feeling of numbness or pins and needles or pain in the joints or muscles
  • headache
  • alteration in sense of taste
  • inflammation of the eye or increased tearing of the eyes
  • swelling caused by faulty lymphatic drainage
  • shortness of breath
  • nasal drainage; inflammation of the throat and nose; cough
  • bleeding from the nose
  • sores in the mouth
  • stomach upsets including nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, constipation
  • abdominal pain
  • indigestion
  • short term hair loss (in most cases normal hair growth should return)
  • redness and swelling of the palms of your hands or soles of your feet which may cause your skin to peel (this may also occur on the arms, face, or body)
  • change in the color of your nails, which may detach
  • muscle aches and pains; back pain or bone pain
  • change or absence of menstrual period
  • swelling of the hands, feet, legs
  • tiredness; or flu-like symptoms
  • weight gain or loss.

Common (affects 1 to 10 users in 100):

  • oral candidiasis
  • dehydration
  • dizziness
  • hearing impaired
  • decrease in blood pressure; irregular or rapid heart beat
  • heart failure
  • oesophagitis
  • dry mouth
  • difficulty or painful swallowing
  • haemorrhage
  • raised liver enzymes (hence the need for regular blood tests).

Uncommon (affects 1 to 10 users in 1,000):

  • fainting
  • at the injection site, skin reactions, phlebitis (inflammation of the vein) or swelling
  • inflammation of the colon, small intestine; intestinal perforation
  • blood clots.

If any of the side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or hospital pharmacist.

How should it be stored?

Keep out of the reach and sight of children.

Do not use TAXOTERE after the expiry date which is stated on outer carton and on the label of the vial after EXP. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

Do not store above 25°C.
Store in the original package in order to protect from light.

Use the vial immediately after its opening. If not used immediately, in-use storage times and conditions are the responsibility of the user.

From a microbiological point of view, reconstitution/dilution must take place in controlled and aseptic conditions.

Use immediately the medicine once added into the infusion bag . If not used immediately, in-use storage times and conditions are the responsibility of the user and would normally not be longer than 6 hours below 25°C including the one hour infusion.

Physical and chemical in-use stability of the infusion solution prepared as recommended has been demonstrated in non-PVC bags up to 48 hours when stored between 2 to 8°C.

Docetaxel infusion solution is supersaturated, therefore may cristallize over time. If crystals appear, the solution must no longer be used and shall be discarded.

Dispose any unused product or waste material in accordance with local requirements

Further information

What TAXOTERE contains

  • The active substance is docetaxel. Each ml of concentrate for solution for infusion contains 20 mgdocetaxel as trihydrate.
  • The other ingredients are polysorbate 80, ethanol anhydrous and citric acid.

What TAXOTERE looks like and contents of the pack

TAXOTERE concentrate for solution for infusion is a pale yellow to brownish-yellow solution. The concentrate is supplied in a 7 ml clear colourless glass vial with a green aluminium seal and a green plastic flip-off cap.

Each box contains one vial of 1 ml concentrate (20 mg docetaxel).

Marketing Authorisation Holder

Aventis Pharma S.A.
20 avenue Raymond Aron
92165 Antony Cedex
France

Manufacturer

Aventis Pharma, Dagenham
Rainham Road South
Dagenham
Essex RM10 7XS
United Kingdom

For any information about this medicine, please contact the local representative of the Marketing Authorisation Holder.

BelgiëBelgiqueBelgien sanofi-aventis Belgium TélTel 32 02 710 54 00 LuxembourgLuxemburg sanofi-aventis Belgium TélTel 32 02 710 54 00 BelgiqueBelgien

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Danmark sanofi-aventis Denmark AS Tlf 45 45 16 70 00 Nederland sanofi-aventis Netherlands B.V. Tel 31 0182 557 755

Deutschland Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH Tel 49 0180 2 222010 Norge sanofi-aventis Norge AS Tlf 47 67 10 71 00

Eesti sanofi-aventis Estonia OÜ Tel 372 627 34 88 Österreich sanofi-aventis GmbH Tel 43 1 80 185 0

sanofi-aventis AEBE 30 210 900 16 00 Polska sanofi-aventis Sp. z o.o. Tel. 48 22 280 00 00

España sanofi-aventis, S.A. Tel 34 93 485 94 00 Portugal sanofi-aventis - Produtos Farmacêuticos, S.A. Tel 351 21 35 89 400

România sanofi-aventis România S.R.L. Tel 40 0 21 317 31 36 France sanofi-aventis France Tél 0 800 222 555 Appel depuis létranger 33 1 57 63 23 23

Ireland sanofi-aventis Ireland Ltd. Tel 353 0 1 403 56 00 Slovenija sanofi-aventis d.o.o. Tel 386 1 560 48 00

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Italia sanofi-aventis S.p.A. Tel 39 02 393 91 SuomiFinland sanofi-aventis Oy PuhTel 358 0 201 200 300

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Lietuva

UAB sanofi-aventis Lietuva
Tel: +370 5 2755224

This leaflet was last approved in

The following information is intended for medical or healthcare professionals only:

PREPARATION GUIDE FOR USE WITH TAXOTERE 20 mg/1 ml CONCENTRATE FOR SOLUTION FOR INFUSION

It is important that you read the entire contents of this procedure prior to the preparation of the TAXOTERE infusion solution.

Recommendations for the safe handling:
Docetaxel is an antineoplastic agent and, as with other potentially toxic compounds, caution should be exercised when handling itand preparing its solutions. The use of gloves is recommended.

If TAXOTERE concentrate or infusion solution should come into contact with skin, wash immediately and thoroughly with soap and water. If it should come into contact with mucous membranes, wash immediately and thoroughly with water.

Preparation of the intravenous administration :

Preparation of the infusion solutionDO NOT use other docetaxel medicinal products consisting of 2 vials (concentrate and solvent) with this medicinal product (TAXOTERE 20 mg/1 ml concentrate for solution for infusion, which contains only 1 vial).

TAXOTERE 20 mg/1 ml concentrate for solution for infusion requires NO prior dilution with a solvent and is ready to add to the infusion solution.

  • Each vial is for single use and should be used immediately after opening. If not used immediately, in-use storage times and conditions are the responsibility of the user. More than one vial of concentrate for solution for infusion may be necessary to obtain the required dose for the patient. For example, a dose of 140 mg docetaxel would require 7 ml docetaxel concentrate for solution.
  • Aseptically withdraw the required amount of concentrate for solution for infusion with a calibrated syringe. In TAXOTERE 20 mg/1 ml vial the concentration of docetaxel is 20 mg/ml.
  • Then, inject via a single injection (one shot) into a 250 ml infusion bag or bottle containing either 5% glucose solution or sodium chloride 9 mg/ml (0.9%) solution for infusion. If a dose greater than 190 mg of docetaxel is required, use a larger volume of the infusion vehicle so that a concentration of 0.74 mg/ml docetaxel is not exceeded.
  • Mix the infusion bag or bottle manually using a rocking motion.
  • From a microbiological point of view, reconstitution /dilution must take place in controlled and aseptic conditions and the infusion solution should be used immediately. If not used immediately, in-use storage times and conditions are the responsibility of the user. Once added as recommended into the infusion bag, the docetaxel infusion solution, if stored below 25°C, is stable for 6 hours. It should be used within 6 hours (including the one hour infusion IV administration). In addition, physical and chemical in-use stability of the infusion solution prepared as recommended has been demonstrated in non-PVC bags up to 48 hours when stored between 2°C to 8°C. Docetaxel infusion solution is supersaturated, therefore may crystallize over time. If crystals appear, the solution must no longer be used and shall be discarded.
  • As with all parenteral products, infusion solution should be visually inspected prior to use, solutions containing a precipitate should be discarded.

Disposal:
All materials that have been utilised for dilution and administration should be disposed of according to standard procedures.

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