Consumer medicine information

Paclitaxel Pfizer®

Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet

Please read this leaflet carefully before you receive Paclitaxel Pfizer.

This leaflet provides a summary of the information available. It does not take the place of talking to you doctor who will have more detailed information.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of Paclitaxel Pfizer against the benefits this medicine is expected to have for you.

You should ask your doctor if you have any questions about Paclitaxel Pfizer or if you have any trouble before, during or after receiving Paclitaxel Pfizer.

Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again later.

What Paclitaxel Pfizer is used for

Paclitaxel Pfizer is used to treat ovarian cancer, breast cancer and non small cell cancer of the lung.

How does it work?

Paclitaxel Pfizer is the first of a new class of anticancer agents known as taxanes. These agents prevent the division of cells, particularly cancer cells.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Paclitaxel Pfizer was prescribed for you.

Before Receiving Paclitaxel Pfizer

When Paclitaxel Pfizer must not be given

Paclitaxel Pfizer should not be administered if:

  • You have an allergy to paclitaxel, other drugs formulated in polyoxyethylated castor oil or any other of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
  • You have a severe neutropenia (reduced numbers of the white blood cells that fight infections).
  • The packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering
  • The expiry date on the pack has passed.

If you are not sure about any of the above, you should raise those concerns with your doctor.

If this medicine is taken after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well (or it may make you feel sick).

If you are not sure whether you should be receiving Paclitaxel Pfizer, talk to your doctor.

Before you receive Paclitaxel Pfizer

Tell your doctor if you have any allergies to any foods, dyes, preservatives or any other medicines.

Before you receive Paclitaxel Pfizer for the first time, you should tell your doctor if:

  • If you are taking any other medicines or treatment;
  • If you have ever been anaemic or suffered from other problems with your blood;
  • If you have had kidney or liver problems;
  • If you have received radiation therapy;
  • If you have ever suffered from neuropathy (numbness, tingling and pain in feet or hands);
  • If you are or may become pregnant;
  • If you are breast feeding.

Your doctor will consider these points when recommending Paclitaxel Pfizer.

Taking other medicines

Some medicines can affect the way Paclitaxel Pfizer works. You should always tell your doctor about any other medicines you take, even those bought without a doctor’s prescription.

Receiving Paclitaxel Pfizer

Paclitaxel Pfizer should only be administered by your doctor. Your doctor will decide on the dose of Paclitaxel Pfizer. The dose will be administered in a hospital clinic. Paclitaxel Pfizer may be used alone or with other anticancer medicines.

You should always follow the advice given by your doctor. This leaflet is not a substitute for advice that your doctor tells you based on your individual circumstances.

If you receive too much Paclitaxel Pfizer (overdose)

As your dose of Paclitaxel Pfizer will be determined and administered by a medical specialist, the chance of receiving an overdose is most unlikely. However, if an overdose should be given your specialist will give the appropriate treatment.

Side Effects

All medicines, including Paclitaxel Pfizer can sometimes cause unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not.

Medical treatment may be required for some of the side effects.

Serious side-effects
The most serious side-effect is anaphylaxis (sudden collapse/shock)
Another serious side-effect, and dose limiting toxicity of Paclitaxel Pfizer is bone marrow suppression (fewer new blood cells are produced).

Common side-effects
The most common side-effects include:

  • bone marrow suppression (primarily neutropenia)
  • thrombocytopenia (reduced numbers of the white blood cells that are responsible for blood clotting)
  • anaemia (reduced numbers of red blood cells)
  • infections
  • hypotension (low blood pressure),
  • bradycardia (slow heart beat),
  • peripheral neuropathy (numbness, tingling and pain in feet and hands)
  • myalgia (muscle pain),
  • diarrhoea
  • nausea/vomiting
  • mucositis (inflammation of the lining of the mouth or bowel).
  • Alopecia (hair loss) occurs in almost all patients.
  • Elevated liver enzymes.

Less Common side-effects

  • Severe allergic reactions, despite pre-medication occur in approximately 2% of patients.
  • Several cases of bowel perforation have been reported.
  • Severe cardiac conduction abnormalities (which may result in a slowing of the heart beat) have been reported rarely.

It is also possible to suffer from an allergic reaction to Paclitaxel Pfizer, so tell your doctor if you develop a skin rash or itchiness, fever, joint pain or shortness of breath.

Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are receiving Paclitaxel Pfizer, even if you do not think the problem is connected with the medicine or is not listed in this leaflet.

After Receiving Paclitaxel Pfizer


Paclitaxel Pfizer concentrate for intravenous infusion should be stored below 25°C and protected from light.

Product Description

What it looks like

Paclitaxel Pfizer is a clear colourless to yellow viscous solution and comes in three strengths:

  • 30 mg paclitaxel (5 mL vials)
  • 100 mg paclitaxel (16.7 mL vials)
  • 300 mg paclitaxel (50 mL vials)


Active Ingredient:
The active ingredient in Paclitaxel Pfizer injection is 6 mg/mL paclitaxel per vial.

Inactive Ingredients:
Inactive substances in the solution are PEG-35 castor oil, Ethanol – absolute and Citric acid – anhydrous.


Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
38-42 Wharf Road
West Ryde NSW 2114

This leaflet was prepared in February 2011.

  • PACLITAXEL PFIZER 30 mg/5 mL Concentrated Injection (AUST R 176332).
  • PACLITAXEL PFIZER 100 mg/16.7 mL Concentrated Injection (AUST R 176333).
  • PACLITAXEL PFIZER 300 mg/50 mL Concentrated Injection (AUST R 176334).

® Registered trademark of Pfizer Inc

Published by MIMS April 2012