What are Some Of Taxol Long Term Side Effects?
Taxol is a plant alkaloid produced from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree. It’s a mitotic inhibitor and it works by blocking the growth of cancer.
Much is known of the short term side effects of cancer medication, but what are the long term side effects of a drug like Taxol?
Taxol long-term side effects:
Joint Pain and Neuropathy
This is one of the more common Taxol long-term side effects
Patients taking Taxol – or indeed any form of Paclitaxel- commonly experience joint pain, both during the short-term and the long-term of their treatment. This pain can often be likened to that of a sports injury of the joints. It can be a dull, persistent ache that can last even after the course of Taxol is finished. Pain may be more severe depending on the individual. For most patients though, it’s far more common that these pain last for only a couple of days at a time.
Some patients have reported that taking glutamine supplements have helped mitigate the pain.
As well as joint paint, patients may experience tingling in the extremities, especially the fingers and toes. Patients may also suffer numbness in the fingers and toes.
The early on-set of nerve problems/joint pains may be indicative of how long the symptoms will persist for after the medication has stopped being taken.
It can be common for patients to experience hair loss. Taxol can make the hair more brittle and begin to thin, though this effect is temporary in the majority of cases. In some cases, hair loss can be more severe and may last for longer even after the patient has stopped taking the medication.
Though this is one of the less common Taxol long-term side effects Some patients may experience permanent infertility and damage to the ovaries in rare cases.
Some patients will experience chest pains and difficulty breathing. In many cases this will subside once the patient stops taking Taxol. Patients may experience other cardiovascular problems, as well as changes in their vital signs which may last for a long time.
Other side effects such as: hot flashes, fever, chills, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion and nausea,
Though these are commonly considered short-term side effects, some patients may experience them regularly during the entire course of their treatment. Anti-nausea medications may help in some cases.
Changes in Bowel Habits
Taking Taxol can affect your bowel habits. Though as with many side-effects, it’s common for it to be a short-term problem. Some patients may experience it during the entire course.
Some patients have experienced swollen finger, toes, hands and feet long after they’ve stopped taking Taxol.
Changing of Skin Tone and Nail Color
This is rare, but some patients will notice their skin tone has changed (sometimes yellowed) and their nails may be different in tone and more brittle.
If you experience any of these side-effects, you should see your doctor for advice immediately. Your healthcare professional will have a much better idea of whether or not a course is working for you, and if there may be other drugs you can take which may mitigate the side-effects, both over the short-term and the long-term.
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