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Precautions and Warnings With Protein-Bound Paclitaxel

There are many important precautions and warnings with protein-bound paclitaxel, including potential side effects that may occur and information on who should not take the drug. Protein-bound paclitaxel may potentially cause nerve problems, decrease the bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells, or transmit viral diseases. You shouldn't take protein-bound paclitaxel if you are allergic to any components of the medicine or have a low neutrophil count before starting treatment.

Protein-Bound Paclitaxel: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking protein-bound paclitaxel (Abraxane®) if you have:
  • A history of low levels of white blood cells in the blood (known medically as neutropenia)
  • Any infection
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Warnings and Precautions With Protein-Bound Paclitaxel

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking protein-bound paclitaxel include:
  • Protein-bound paclitaxel can decrease the bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells. This can result in anemia and other serious conditions. Because your immune system depends on certain blood cells, you may be more susceptible to infections while taking protein-bound paclitaxel (see Chemotherapy and Infections). You may also be at a higher risk of bleeding (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy). You will need regular blood tests to make sure your blood counts are not too low.
  • Protein-bound paclitaxel contains albumin, which is obtained from human blood. Although it has never happened before, it is possible that protein-bound paclitaxel could transmit viral diseases. It is also possible that the medication could transmit a fatal infectious disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The chance of such infections from protein-bound paclitaxel is extremely small.
  • Protein-bound paclitaxel can cause nerve problems, including nerve pain or unusual sensations of burning or tingling (see Nerve and Muscle Problems During Chemotherapy).
  • Protein-bound paclitaxel can interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Protein-Bound Paclitaxel).
  • Protein-bound paclitaxel is considered a pregnancy Category D medication. This means that it is probably not safe for use during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug during pregnancy (see Abraxane and Pregnancy). Also, men taking protein-bound paclitaxel should use adequate birth control methods, as they should not father children while taking the medication.
  • It is not known if protein-bound paclitaxel passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Abraxane and Breastfeeding).
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Information on Protein-Bound Paclitaxel

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