Cancer Home > Side Effects of Protein-Bound Paclitaxel
A few common side effects of protein-bound paclitaxel include nerve pain or unusual sensations, hair loss, neutropenia, and anemia. Some side effects occur less frequently but are much more serious and should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately. Seek medical attention right away if you develop serious protein-bound paclitaxel side effects such as severe mouth sores, blood in the stool, severe vomiting or diarrhea, or an irregular heart rhythm.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with protein-bound paclitaxel (Abraxane®); however, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate protein-bound paclitaxel quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with protein-bound paclitaxel. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of protein-bound paclitaxel side effects with you.)
Protein-bound paclitaxel has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and are then compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the drug. In these studies, the most common side effects of protein-bound paclitaxel included:
- Hair loss -- in up to 90 percent of people (see Abraxane and Hair Loss)
- Neutropenia (low levels of a certain of white blood cells called neutrophils) -- up to 80 percent
- Nerve pain or unusual sensations, such as burning or tingling -- up to 71 percent (see Nerve and Muscle Problems During Chemotherapy)
- Changes in heart rhythm seen on an electrocardiogram (ECG) -- up to 60 percent
- Weakness -- up to 47 percent
- Anemia -- up to 33 percent (see Chemotherapy and Anemia)
- Nausea -- up to 30 percent (see Chemotherapy and Nausea).
Other common protein-bound side effects of paclitaxel, occurring in 2 percent to 27 percent of people, included:
- Low platelets in the blood (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy)
- Infections (see Chemotherapy and Infections)
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Difficulty breathing
- Fluid retention or water weight gain (Fluid Retention During Chemotherapy)
- Diarrhea (see Chemotherapy-Induced Diarrhea)
- Mouth sores or sores in the digestive tract (see Mouth and Gum Problems During Chemotherapy).