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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Taxol

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Taxol Availability
Question: I have a friend in Denmark who has liver cancer with a poor prognosis. Is Taxol available in Denmark? If not, how might he access it ?

Answer: I don't know directly, but I'm sure the manufacturer would. That is Bristol-Meyers-Squibb: #800-426-7644.

Side Effects
Question:I am interested in learning about side effects from the drug taxol, I have been on taxol since july 1995 for treatement of lung cancer also how long a period of time can one be on this drug?

Answer:Taxol is a relatively recent addition to the chemotherapeutic regimen of different cancers. It was found in a tree growing along the western coast of the United States and subseqauently had been able to be produced without destroying all these yews. The drug works on the microtubles of the cell preventing with interphase and mitotic cell functions which is one of the steps in cell division and multiplication. Side effects include hypersensitivity reactions(which can be severe),bone marrow suppression(especially white blood cells), blood pressure excursions and myalgia(muscle pain). Also reported are peripheral neuropathy (damage to the nerves to the hands and feet), Gil side effects including nausea and vomiting and hair loss. Taxol is administered by treatment protocols;consequently, the time that one is on this drug is set by the protocol. Long term side effects are unclear since the drug is relatively new.

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