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Question: Pre-meds for Taxol Chemo

LoveBabyJesus's picture
Posts: 1680
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi sisters,

I am getting close to the day I get my first taxol treatment - on Friday.

I have a concern. I heard they give you pre-meds the day before treatment, 10 steroids (WOW) to prevent allergic reaction? Anyhow, my Onco will not do this with me. I will simply go in on Friday, do my blood test, and wait to be called for my treatment. They will probably give me some premeds right before it. What was your exp.?

Also, is there anything I should prepare for prior to this treatment? (e.g. what pills to keep handy, skin meds, pain killers?).

Does the infusion time makes a difference? Can taking a longer time be better than shorter time or it doesn't make a difference?

Thanks for your feedback, and God bless you.

ElizabethB's picture
Posts: 89
Joined: Feb 2011

I start 4 treatments on the 6 of june .I was told I get my meds just before the treatmnet my treatment will last 3 hours they will give me meds to take care of the side effects but they still want to do it slow.I will also be getting Herceptin which takes 30 min for it. it is for my Her2 receptor. I wish you good luck and lots of hugs......

Lighthouse_7's picture
Posts: 1566
Joined: Jan 2010

I forget a lot of details, like meds prior to Taxol but I'll try.
I had 4 sessions of Taxol and I know they gave me steroids and Benadryl in my drip. This was to help with any allergic reactions.

They started the Taxol drip very slow to see how I tolerated it, then slowly sped it up. I did fine so each of the other 3 sessions went faster because they already knew how I reacted to it.

Good luck and try not to be too scared because everything went better than I expected.

Posts: 117
Joined: Jul 2009

Taxol has a high rate of allergic reaction. It's not to the drug - but the solvent they put it in to allow is to be infused through IV. The meds I had before the 4 Taxol treatments I had changed each time because I had terrible reactions to it. We finally got it right on the 4th treatment and everything went fine - no reaction.

The only thing I ever took at home before I got there was Benedryl. Once there I got IV steroids and more Benedryl. They also slowed down the infusion to where it took almost 7 hours by the last treatment. It was okay though - with that much Benedryl in my system I slept through most of it.

The side effects of Taxol were much different for me. It was much easier than A/C. I did suffer some neuropathy in my fingers and toes that went away eventually. I did have about 36 hours of pretty nasty bone and muscle pain about a day after each treatment. I ended up using some pain killers (viocdan left over from my surgery) to deal with it. I started with Advil but it didn't really work.

Good luck with your treatments!

grams2jc's picture
Posts: 756
Joined: May 2011

I too had the Taxol pain and had the drip slowed to 6 hours. I took over the counter Benadryl for the pain that I had after the drip slowed and it worked well. I don't think there is anything you can do preinfusion. At least that's what my doc said. done 4 weeks

I did not experience any nausea or skin problems but did have flushing of my chest and neck for a couple of days after trtmt, slight tingling of fingers that would go away between trtmts and elevated pulse that would also go away in the 3 weeks between trtmts. Don't forget the joy of losing the peach fuzz you had on your head plus eyebrows, eyelashes, nose hair and any other hair you can think of on your body.

Good luck


mamolady's picture
Posts: 796
Joined: May 2011

I had taxol 12 times. The gave me pepcid (anti-nausea), decradon (steroid) and benedryl just before starting the taxol. I didn't have to take anything before or after. The did the drip slowly at first then kicked it up a little each week. 5 hours the first week just under 3 the last few.
Every one is different. I didn't have much of a reaction to this except being really tired and a little achy.
All the best!

PS - also the eyebrows, eye lashes fell out. Some tingling in fingers and toes but gone now.

Posts: 3644
Joined: Aug 2009

I did 12 weekly Taxol and did not have to take anything the day before infusion. Immediately before infusion I would take a Ondansetron (Zofran) and then one every 8 hrs for 2 days - also took 2 Dex on days 2, 3 & 4 post Chemo. Before infusion, I was given via IV Pepcid, Dexamethasone, and Benadryl. The Benadryl would 'knock me out' within seconds of it starting and wake up shortly before the Taxol was some. I always had a bed for Taxol as the reclinners were very comfortable when awake but when asleep. Also the bed room were entirely enclosed with glass actoss the from so it was easier to keep it warm in thee - I got very cold all the time and would have several heated blankets.

Remember we are all different and our Drs' are also different.


Posts: 176
Joined: Oct 2010

I did 4 AC then 4 Taxol every 2 weeks. For the Taxol I took Dexamethasone the night before and the morning of the treatment. I don't remember the exact dosage but it was 4 xs the dosage I took during the AC treatments. I was definitely hyper (understatement!) the night before the treatment and for a day after. As a matter of fact, the day of and the day after, I didn't feel much different at all...kind of like 'did they relly give me something?' The Taxol drip took 3 hours. The very first time I felt flushed and overheated for a few minutes...kind of like intense hot flashes...every 20 mins or so. Then that stopped. I was given Zofran, an anti nasuea drug, to take but never needed it.

I went for a neulasta shot the day after treatment. The 3rd day after treatment the bone pain set in. That was very intense for me. I took Oxydondone for that. I also experienced intense depression on days 3 and 4, would sob the "why mes" at the drop of a hat on those days. But by day 5 I was fine. That was really weird. I think it was the sudden decrease in the steroids actually that caused that so if you aren't taking those megadoses of steroids you probabaly won't experience that.

As for the cumulative effects, I lost the rest of my eyelashes and eyebrows...not a hair to be seen. But do not despair because your lashes grow back fast when you are done with treatments! I also experienced neuropathy in my fingers and my feet. My nails got weird looking, curvy, but didn't fall out. 3 months post Taxol, they are pretty much normal again. So again, don't despair, it's only for a short time.

One thing I remember is that the 2 doctors who saw me differed in their way to treat Taxol. My main onc who oversaw the treatemnts recommended the steroids, but the day after when I went for the neulasta shot, I saw a different doctor. He said that they don't usually do the megadose of steroids anymore. Almost like he was saying that my main doctor was going about this a little old fashioned. So if you aren't taking the mega steroids before that's something new they are doing. Hope this helps

LoveBabyJesus's picture
Posts: 1680
Joined: Jan 2011

Thank you guys for your input. Once again, you have helped me.

I am somewhat happy about not taking all those steroids. Two side effects I don't want to deal with are nausea/vomiting and constipation.

I get bone pains from nuelesta. Can't imagine the combo with taxol, hmmmm...I'll try to stay positive.

Thank you for your responses.

Posts: 3644
Joined: Aug 2009

Unless your Dr has lready told you that you will be getting Neulasta with Taxol you may not be - I didn't Did with A/C but not Taxol. But then I never got pain with either.


carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

I was the same as mammo lady. I did get neuropathy and if I could do it differnetly, i would take vit B6 throughout and no hot baths .

Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 2011

I had my 4 taxol treatments in February and march. I was given the 10 steroid pills to take, 5 the night before and the other 5 the morning of treatment. It went well for me. I was a little wired. The infusion time was longer bit not to bad. Taxol was so much easier for me. It was a cake walk compared to A/C


cahjah75's picture
Posts: 2631
Joined: Jun 2010

my onc gave me a script for 2 different anti nausea meds, Dexamethasone, and Emend. I never needed the anti nausea drugs as they gave them to me in the drip. There are very explicit directions for how many and when to take the Dex and Emend. Wishing you a easy first time. Mine was long but no complications. Drink lots of water.
{{hugs}} Char

linpsu's picture
Posts: 747
Joined: Mar 2010

I had 4 Taxols (every 2 weeks) - I got anti-nausea, steroids, and benadryl via IV prior to the actual Taxol. My infusion generally took about 6-7 hours because I always had an allergic reaction (intense itching) and they had to stop and give me more benadryl and then wait for that to kick in before continuing. Linda

dbhadra's picture
Posts: 344
Joined: Jan 2011

Pre-meds were Benadryl, Emend and steriods. They started me on 10 mg of steriods and then cut to 5 mg after a few weeks since I was not sleeping and eating constantly and super hyper. After that it went smoothly; I did not have Neulasta with the Taxol. I also did not lose all my hair, just thinning.

Compared to the FEC I am doing now, Taxol was a lot easier for me. Of course, we're all different and have different reactions.

Best of luck with your treatments.

You can do it!


Marsha Mulvey
Posts: 597
Joined: May 2010

All the meds I received with Taxol were given through the I-V just prior to the chemo itself. First Benadryl (for possible allergic reaction), next Pepcid (for possible upset stomach), and finally Decadron (to help the body cope with the chemo). Because they wanted these things in my system for 30 minutes before the Taxol, I received my Herceptin (for HER2+) next and then Taxol. I took no oral medication and was not given the Neulasta shots. Though our experiences may vary a little, the doctors had the same goal in mind - to help make the chemo more tolerable.

For the first 2 weeks, I barely slept and when I told my onc, he immediately cut the Decadron in half (from 20mg to 10mg). Right away I started getting 4-5 hours each night, making the whole process much better. He said they cannot eliminate the steroid altogether.

To all who are about to begin chemotherapy, best wishes. It's not all roses, but it is do-able. ALWAYS keep in mind the reason you're doing this. God bless us all.

Khm's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2015

i just finished A/C and T, four treatments every two weeks.  After two weeks yesterday I started Taxol.  I took 10 steroids the night before ytreatment, five 12 hours before treatment and five pills five hours before treatment.  Treatment was long it started with premeditated for thirty minutes,  50mg Benydral, then anti nausea drug then taxol with a slow drip of three hours.  I did beautiful except I had to keep peeing from the fulids I guess and the fact I do take water pills for high. Blood pressure.

today I woke with a flushed face and big checks.  But over all so far so good. This seems much easier then the last medicines A/c and T.


hope this is helpful.  I think this is going to Be easy if I continue feeling this good.   Good luck fellow warrior you can do this as so many strong women have done this before us and are still here to talk about it!  We will win this fight!  Take care.

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