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Topic: Delayed allergic reaction to Taxotere

Forum: Managing Side Effects of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment —

This is a place to discuss concerns, tips and strategies for all types of side effects from all types of medications and treatments, (chemo/rads/hormonal/targeted/pain meds/etc.

Posted on: Jul 12, 2017 03:06PM

mcichoracki wrote:

Has anyone had a delayed allergic reaction to Taxotere?  I had a severe reaction 9 days after my 3rd treatment of Taxotere.  I thought I was having a heart attack, it turned out to be a severe reaction.  It started with hives all over my head then moved to my arms.  I was taken to the hospital by ambulance and they gave me Benadryl and steroid but within hours I was back to itching and the hives turned in to giant hives on my legs sending me back to the ER a few days later.  I was finally given 20mg of Zyrtec and 2 pills of Atarax at night to get them to stop itching.  I had to take this for a few weeks and every since I had this reaction I have been short of breath.  I have pulmonology testing next week to determine the cause.  Please let me know that I am not the only one with this issue?

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Jul 12, 2017 04:01PM mightygnat wrote:

I had something similar happen to me after my 1st and 3rd treatments. It started on day 4 - 5 mostly on my trunk, then moved down my legs, and up to the top of my head. They gave me steroids that knocked it out. The 4th treatment they let me take steroids prior to the chemo, and that was the best of the four treatments.

Dx 3/2/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 3/15/2016 Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 4/22/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 8/12/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 12, 2017 04:27PM illimae wrote:

I had a severe reaction to taxotere but early on during the 1st infusion, I actually had all the severe symptoms, then I had them all again after switching to taxol two weeks later. Finally, I was changed to Abraxane and never had a problem, SE's were mild and infrequent too. It it doesn't get better, maybe you can try something else.

Diagnosed at 41 Stage IV De Novo Dx 11/16/2016, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 1/1/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 1/1/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/1/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 6/26/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 8/10/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 10/5/2017, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+, HER2+ (IHC) Radiation Therapy 10/19/2017 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 4/18/2018 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 5/22/2019 External: Brain Surgery 1/21/2020 Radiation Therapy 2/16/2020 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 7/20/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 12/4/2020 External: Brain Targeted Therapy Tukysa (tucatinib) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 12, 2017 07:07PM Spookiesmom wrote:

My severe allergic reaction started before I checked out of the office. It was so bad that was the first and last taxotere infusion I had.

Reoccurrence 3-19. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Jul 13, 2017 04:44PM mcichoracki wrote:

Thanks for the response, glad they were able to change yours and have it work.

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Jul 13, 2017 04:45PM mcichoracki wrote:

Thank you for the response.

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Jul 25, 2017 10:13PM JanetMara wrote:

Hi Mcichoracki,

I didn't have rashes from taxotere because the infusion Nurse gave me Benadryl IV before giving taxotere

Dx 5/22/2016, IDC/IBC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 5/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 11/28/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 7/2018, DCIS/IDC/IBC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 3, 5/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 11/9/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 1/25/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 3/9/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Jul 29, 2017 03:41PM - edited Aug 13, 2017 10:07AM by Fiddler

I definitely had this! And it was about 9 days after my third infusion too. What happened to me was, on a Thursday, I had a fever and some coughing, went to the ER where I stayed overnight. They couldn't really figure out what it was and my fever was gone so they released me. Then on the Sunday morning I suddenly was coughing a great deal, and in between coughing could not catch my breath and was extremely short of breath generally. By the time I got to the ER I could barely walk from the car to the ER admittance desk. They admitted me right away and diagnosed me with "chemo-induced pneumonitis," due to an allergy to Taxotere.Only 1% of chemo patients get this. I was in the hospital for four days, on oxygen and given massive doses of steroids. It was a very serious situation, the doctor said if I hadn't come in that day I could have died overnight! So, I was only supposed to have one more round of chemo which was then cancelled. I never had hives, but this was nevertheless an allergic reaction. My other symptom was an extremely fast heart rate, because my heart was working so hard to get oxygen going through me.

You should mention pneumonitis to the pulmonologist. It doesn't show up well on an Xray, and is best diagnosed by a CT scan. They don't always look for it--because it is so rare, some doctors have never seen it before.

And if your breathing gets worse at all, get to the ER right away! And you should not have any more taxane-based drugs!

Hope you get better soon.

Alana Dx 6/24/2016, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 8/7/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 9/25/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 10/16/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 12/26/2016 Whole-breast: Breast
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Aug 15, 2017 06:42PM Flmom66 wrote:

So sorry to hear about this, but so happy to read it! I had my last Taxotere on 8/7 and broke out in an itchy rash yesterday. It is driving me nuts! I've been racking my brain to see if I'd gotten into something, had bedbugs, rogue mosquitoes, anything! Guess I'll be calling the MD in the am.

IDC 2/23/17 Stage IIA, ER+,PR-,Her2- Bil mx 4/17 with TE's, Chemo 6/2017-8/17 Cytoxan/Taxotere, Reconstruction with silicone implants 1/18, fat grafting 3/18
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Aug 26, 2017 07:04AM Drake wrote:

My taxotere side effects are on going. The most severe is esophagitis. It sent me to the ER. This happened 10 days after first infusion and 6 days after see nurse practitioner for other painful side effects.

Only 16% of people get this. The problem was the pain, I couldn't eat and could only take liquid with a straw and a lot of pain not controlled by the norcotics I had on hand.

I feel abandoned by my doctor, to this day she hasn't called me. Her nurse called to tell me they are changing chemotherapy to methotrexate flourorcil on the 1st of September. My choice. But I haven't healed from esophagitis!!! I still have pains certainly not as severe, but I'm very scared to take another round of any thing.

Please, if anyone can help with advice contact me. I'm shopping for another doctor because I have lost faith in the current one. I don't want to quit chemotherapy altogether or all the suffering and pain will be in vain. They wouldn't give anything more for the pain unless I stayed in the hospital. Only drug prescription is for ulcers. Not pain!

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Aug 26, 2017 07:16AM proudtospin wrote:

i have tons of allergies and asthma, so they give me benadryl first before the taxol and i have never had and issue but i also take zyrtec and singular every day

Yeah get a new mo

iris Dx 6/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, ER+ Dx 2/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Aug 26, 2017 05:06PM mcichoracki wrote:

I would def seek another Dr. I had a Dr that was on call both times I had to call and he told me there was nothing he could do for me in which I went to the ER. The 1st time via ambulance and that is when my chest hurt the most, was having anaphylactic and they treated me for acid reflux even though I had hives and itching all over me. Second time was after a week and I was still suffering with the hives. I did not get to talk to my own Dr for weeks afterward and would def ask to speak with him or find a second opinion. I have a friend that went to the Mayo Clinic in MN and had great treatment

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Oct 24, 2017 03:41AM Imstillhere2017 wrote:

I have stage IIIA breast cancer and had a total of 14 lymph nodes removed of which 10 were positive for cancer. Since October 2016 I have had a double mastectomy, 6 cycles of 4 different chemo drugs, lymph node removal surgery, and have just finished 28 radiation treatments. Yes, I had a life threatening reaction to docetaxel (taxotere) as well. My third and last cycle was on March 15, 2017. I started having a dry cough 2 days after the infusion and was short of breath. I felt like I was getting sicker and the coughing was almost non-stop so I went to emergency on March 26. The doctor diagnosed me with pneumonia and sent me home with a prescription for antibiotics. I was getting worse, not better and by March 30 my son took me back to emergency. I had to be taken in by a wheelchair as I could barely walk due to shortness of breath and coughing. I was admitted and put on iv antibiotics, inhalers and oxygen. My condition deteriorated and on April 1 I was admitted to ICU with acute respiratory failure and was intubated and on a ventilator for 7 days. I was admitted to the hospital for a total of 3 weeks. It turned out that I had chemo-induced pneumonitis not pneumonia. This reaction thankfully only happens to 1% of chemo patients on docetaxel. I suppose since it's not a common side effect not all doctors are aware of it. My oncologist has only ever had one other patient that had this. It was a very scary situation for my family and I feel very lucky to still be here. I am thankful to all the doctors, nurses and hospital staff who recognized that I was in trouble and intubated me before it was too late. I was prescribed prednisone for the inflammation in my lungs in April and just finished taking it about 2 weeks ago. The lung inflammation has not totally gone away yet, but hopefully it will. If any of you ever have shortness of breath and dry coughing and they think you have pneumonia, please mention pneumonitis to your doctor.

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Oct 25, 2017 03:11PM mcichoracki wrote:

Thanks for sharing Imstillhere2017!  I have found more and more people are having these terrible reactions to some of the chemo drugs.  I was just at the cancer center last week and I am still only at 95% oxygen, hopefully I will regain full strength again soon.  Keep your chin up and I will say a prayer for you and your family.


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Nov 1, 2017 05:46PM sisterhasbc wrote:

Hi I'm Still Here. My sister also had pneumonitis after undergoing taxol and herceptin treatment. They can't say for certain whether her reaction was caused by the taxol or the herceptin but the oncologist believes it was more likely to have been caused by the taxol and recommends that she go back on the herceptin, but she is scared. Were you also on herceptin and did you continue the herceptin?

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Nov 11, 2017 12:07PM HopeandStrength5 wrote:

I started chemo on October 4, 2017. On day 9 after my first taxotere/cytoxin treatment, I developed severe acne on my face and scalp. My dermatologist oncologist and oncologist believe it was a reaction to the decatron steroids I took at the start of treatment and gave me antibiotics (doxycline hyclate) to clear up the acne. Two other oncologists I spoke to believe the acne could have been a side effect of the taxotere so it's still unclear.

Then on day 8 after my second taxotere/cytoxin treatment, I developed hives. It started with an itchy scalp, which I thought was due to my hair falling out, but by morning time the hives had spread to my feet. Before long I had severe hives all over my body. On day 9, I developed a dry chest cough and shortness of breath. For about four days I tried to manage the hives with 25 mg of Benadryl every four hours and icing with ice packs. It helped, but the hives flared up every three hours. I went to the ER to help my hives and they suggested predinosone steroid. I refused the steroid because I was afraid of breaking out again so I just continued with the Benadryl and icing. The next day I went to my dermatologist oncologist and was put on prednisone (40 mg/day for 3 days, then 20 mg/day for 3 days). I am on day 3 of prednisone now. The hives are better, but my coughing seems to be getting worse. I use an albuterol inhaler every four hours to help my breathing.

Because of the cough/shortness of breath and severe hives, my oncologist will no longer give me taxotere/taxol and is switching me to adriamycin (doxorubicin)/cytoxin. She believes that I developed an allergic reaction to the taxotere and does not want me to go into anaphylaxis shock.

I'm concerned about the long term side effects of adriamycin and am not looking forward to my next treatment in a few days, but looks like the only other option is to stop chemo . . . but that's not really an option.

I'm stage Ib or II, PR/ER +, Her2-, Grade 3. So far I've had a two staged nipple sparing bilateral mastectomy. I am about to start my third out of four chemo treatments. Radiation to follow, then another surgery to swap out my tissue expanders for implants.

God bless all of us.

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Nov 11, 2017 01:58PM mcichoracki wrote:

hi HopeandSrength5,

I️ know exactly how you feel. It has been 6 months now since my allergic reaction and I️ still feel the side effects from it. My oxygen level was as low as 88 but is now up to 95. After having had several tests for my lungs, they said it could take up to a year before having full capacity again. I was on several steroids and Benadryl and still had the effects of the reaction. My dermatologist finally put me on 2 Zyrtec a day with Benadryl at night to sleep. It took about 5 weeks before I️ could stop them without coming back. My hives also started on my head and thought I was having a heart attack only to find out I was having anaflactic shock with the hives in my esophagus. I did NOT complete my 4th and final treatment due to this. I also had a reaction to the Tamoxifen and having my ovaries out the end of the month. Hang in there, will be praying it gets better corn you

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Nov 11, 2017 06:57PM Meg101 wrote:

Hi everyone. I'm 10 days out from my 3rd round of Taxotere. I was awakened this morning at 3:00am with intense itching and burning on my neck, arms, back, head and tighs. I took a Benadryl. Then I started perspiring, got dizzy, and hyperventilated. My daughter called 911.The ambulance crew said I was having a "reaction" to Taxotere and said a steroid would help. I immediately popped a Dexamethazone 4mg. By the time we got to the ER, I was much better. The ER doctor gave me Claritin, a new prescription for Prednisone 20mg, and an EpiPen (for future incidents). I am still a little itchy, but my heart rate returned to normal, and I am now feeling good. Shouldn't we be warned before starting chemo that a SE of Taxotere could be hives, itching, and even anaphylaxis shock? As I read about your experiences with Taxotere, I am inspired by your courage to continue with treatment regardless of the hurdles.

Dx 7/14/2017, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/11/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 9/18/2017 AC + T (Taxotere) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy
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Nov 12, 2017 01:02AM Alicethecat2 wrote:

Hello to those suffering from a delayed reaction

Sorry to hear about this. Due to wheezing etc, I had to have my Taxotere dose reduced to 80% and Piriton in the drip before being given Herceptin. No problems after that.

Are these options you could discuss with your doctor?


Dx 1/4/2012, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 2/6/2012 Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy CEF Chemotherapy Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3DCRT: Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Nov 12, 2017 02:51PM Meg101 wrote:

Hi Alicethecat - Reducing the Taxotere might work. I am not familiar with Piriton. I'll do a search to find out more about it. I'll be meeting with my MO in a few days and will discuss this and other alternatives. Thanks for the info.

Dx 7/14/2017, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/11/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 9/18/2017 AC + T (Taxotere) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy
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Nov 12, 2017 04:33PM mcichoracki wrote:

Hi Meg101,

After hearing of your reaction there is NO way I️ would continue with taxotere. My 3rd was my final treatment. Please reconsider if you are going through with more treatments, I suffered my reaction in may and am still suffering from the loss of oxygen.

Best of luck to you, prayers for a healthy ending!

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Dec 8, 2017 01:10PM Meg101 wrote:

Hi Mcichoracki,

My MO has taken me off Taxotere and will put me on AC starting Monday, Dec.11th. From what I have read, the SE for AC can be rough, but I'm determined to keep going. I'll just stay ahead of SEs with meds as prescribed.

I am still experiencing itching even though it's been two months since my last round of Taxotere. My eyes are still burning & runny, I still have a cough, and my skin is so dry I look like a snake despite using moisturizing creams. I was told to expect these symptoms to continue for a while because it takes time for the full affects of Taxotere to leave the body.

I am so glad you started this thread so others can be alerted to these possible SEs. I believe Taxotere is a great chemo drug., and it usually has milder SEs (nausea & fatigue) than other chemo drugs.

Dx 7/14/2017, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/11/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 9/18/2017 AC + T (Taxotere) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy
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Dec 21, 2017 02:00AM - edited Dec 21, 2017 02:03AM by Imstillhere2017

Hello sisterhasbc,

I can understand your sister being afraid - it is scary when you can't breathe properly, and you sure don't want to be that sick again.

No, I was never on Herceptin. I started chemo with 3 cycles every 3 weeks of Fluorouracil, cyclophosphamide and epirubicin, then I had 3 cycles of docetaxel every 3 weeks.

I hope your sister is doing better now.

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Dec 21, 2017 02:21AM Imstillhere2017 wrote:

Hi mcichoracki,

It sounds like you had a lot of scary side effects from this drug as well. How are you and your lungs doing?

I had a lung ct 3 months after getting pneumonitis, and my lungs were just a little bit better, but were still inflamed. The oncologist said that because the pneumonitis was caused from a drug that my lungs should get better in time, so that's good to know.

I hope you are doing better.

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Dec 26, 2017 06:16AM MrsWinnie wrote:

oh boy this explains alot!! I had allergic reaction first treatment and found I needed Benadryl 3 days after treatment but continued to have heartburn issues but didnt seem like heartburn.. Like someone was squeezing my breastbone area.. And now 10 days after treatment im getting random hives. Think ill stop worring about what food is causing issues i think im still reacting to chemo 2 weeks out... Terrified to start Herceptin and Tomoxifin in the new year

Dx 7/27/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 8/23/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 10/11/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 1/3/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 1/3/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 27, 2017 12:24PM - edited Dec 27, 2017 12:25PM by mcichoracki

This Post was deleted by mcichoracki.
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Dec 27, 2017 12:30PM mcichoracki wrote:

MrsWinnie, you might want to ask you Dr about taking Zyrtek.  I was on it for a couple of weeks before I started feeling better.  The dermatologist did tell me that it could last several weeks to clear your system.  Stay strong, it sounds like exactly what I went through and the chest pain is you having a severe reaction.  The hives start on the inside and work their way out.  If it continues, I would consider going to the ER and let them know what you have been taking.  My potion to control it was 2 Zyrtek in the morning and Bendryl at night.

I hope this helps and wish you the best in your treatment.

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Dec 27, 2017 12:43PM mcichoracki wrote:

Meg101, sorry for the delay in responding.  

I would look into Zyrtek as a reliever from the itching.  I am 7 months off the Taxotere and still have shortness of breath, I will meet with my Dr again next week to determine if it is better.  I hope things start to turn around from you and I wish you the best in your recovery.

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Dec 27, 2017 12:47PM mcichoracki wrote:

Thanks Imstillhere2017, I am doing better since May but still have some shortness of breath.  I will be going back to my Dr next week and will see what he has to say.  It is better but it definitely takes time.  I hope everything gets better for you.

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Dec 29, 2017 07:03PM Mybctc wrote:

Has anyone ever had mouth sores from an allergic reaction to taxotere ? I have open sores several on the mucous membrane lining of my mouth. Very painful? Can't even brush my teeth. Using baking soda and water or salt water gargle as well as the biotene mouthwash products or anything at all except water that goes into the mouth causes me pain relative to what the substance is. Very difficult indeed because I've become dehydrated and needed iv bags for hydration and iv of potassium. Also low hemoglobin so also needed transfusion x 3. Was prescribed bmx2017 gargle to use before eating but doesn't work that well. Also straight lidocaine also.

Some have suggested Nystatin or hydrogen peroxide. It's tough when the mouth is so sorry... Compromises eating and drinking.. little to no remedies etc.??????also m am on herceptin,perjeta, carboplatin and taxotere. Any thoughts?

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Jan 2, 2018 02:36AM Imstillhere2017 wrote:

Hello Mybctc,

I had mouth problems when I was on Taxotere. Usually just 2-3 days after chemo I would get mouth ulcers and my mouth was so sore especially when I brushed my teeth. I bought a really soft toothbrush and Tom's toothpaste and brushed my teeth gently as I also had bleeding gums. I used a baking soda rinse (1 tsp baking soda to 4 cups water) at least once an hour from the day I started chemo. I got thrush in my mouth and throat every time I had Taxotere and was prescribed Nystatin each time. I also got a prescription to swish and swallow that was made up of benadryl, nystatin, hydrocortisone and sterile water that I used every 2-3 hours. I ate very bland, soft food and the only drink that tasted good was water. I am a coffee lover, but didn't drink coffee for at least 3 months - it just didn't taste good at all, like everything else. As much as your mouth hurts, try to drink water at least to stay hydrated. Check with your doctor regarding a prescription that may help you. I feel bad for you, but it will get better. It just takes a bit of time. My tastebuds were back to normal about 8 weeks after my last chemo. Good luck with your treatments.

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