Paclitaxel alternatives

tinypott Member Posts: 6
i recently been diagnosed and my chemo regieme to begin this week is AC 4 treatments dose dense every 2 weeks followed by Paclitaxel weekly for 12 weeks. Just trying to find out more information from here about AC effects &  the peripheral neuropathy with Paclitaxel and if anyone has found it to be permanent. Hoping there may be an alternative drug to use. Thanks


  • Ktre
    Ktre Member Posts: 65
    Hi @tinypott, I had the AC four treatments every 3 weeks, dude effects, exhaustion, slight nausea hair loss and what I use to call head nausea, not a head ache just a real weird feeling in my head like head felt sick. Lasted from day of chemo to about 4 days later, I then was able to work from home at reduced hours. Unfortunately can't tell you about Paclitaxel as I ended up with stage 4 and didn't continue with that course of treatment, I have heard that it can be hard to go through for some and some cope quite well. Good luck with your journey. Positive thoughts. Unsure if there is an alternative, best to chat to oncology team
  • Blossom1961
    Blossom1961 Member Posts: 2,269
    I managed well on Paclitaxol the first time around and completed the twelve courses although by round ten I was exhausted. I had slight niggles in my feet but that disappeared. Four years later and I was on Paclitaxol again. This time I managed nine rounds and then got trigger toe so they pulled me off it. The aim is for a minimum of eight rounds. If you reach that then your medical team will be happy. As soon as you feel niggles, let your team know and they will discuss the options with you.

    The effects of the AC are so varied from one person to the next so just be prepared for the possibles. I had nearly all the side effects but the one that caught me off guard was the severe heartburn on the night of treatment. The hospital will provide you with anti nausea drugs. Have heartburn medication, anti constipation, gastro stop and panadol. Take them immediately you feel the symptoms. You may not need any but keeping them on hand saves the panic if you need them. Hop on here if you have any questions. After the first dose you will feel a lot less stressed as you will know what to expect. Sending big hugs
  • tinypott
    tinypott Member Posts: 6
    Thank you so much. Just trying to get my head around all these drugs and side effects. I know it’s what has to happen but a bit daunting at the same time but I remain very positive
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,262
    I had 12 rounds of paclitaxel and still have some residual effects of peripheral
    neuropathy. That’s the bad news. Most people recover pretty quickly after treatment ends. Reactions vary really wildly so all you can do
    is to be alert to symptoms and consider alternatives. Ice mitts and socks are recommended by some. Doses can be reduced if tingling in the extremities is experienced. I found vitamin B reduced the effects considerably. Some people don’t get any negative reactions at all. The good news? I am eleven years on with no evidence of disease. I agree with @Blossom1961 - the therapeutic dose is less than 12, so you may still get the same benefit with nine or ten. Why did I persevere? I discovered a lump under my right arm. It turned out to be entirely benign but settled what scared me most - my neuropathied feet or getting another cancer. I have no regrets and ultimately I think that’s important - to know you have done everything you reasonably can to not have cancer any more. Best wishes. 
  • tinypott
    tinypott Member Posts: 6
    Thank you so much for your tips on ice mitts & gloves and Vit B. I really appreciate all the suggestions. I was also confused with my oncologist wanting to do the 12 weekly regime but said it was ok if I didn’t complete the course which I’m getting more understanding of this now. Thanks again
  • cranky_granny
    cranky_granny Member Posts: 624
    Hi @tinypott i did AC 4 doses over 12 weeks then The  paclitaxel  and managed 8 of the 12 weeks. 
    The first lot i had no real problems. Just tired and a bit off. Was given anti nausea medication to take  and followed the directions exactly big thing i did discover was cut down the caffeine and drink enough keep hydrated all the way through the treatment. Not everyone gets the neuropathy but my sign wasn’t tingling so much as numbness my fingernails and toenails felt like they had mud under them but they were clean I told my oncologist and she stopped the treatment. All the other side effects were resolved the only thing that couldn’t be changed was the hair falling out. Wasn’t offered cold capping. Once i started moulting  like hair on the pillow and other places i shaved it off i wasn’t waiting for it to come out in clumps. it doesn’t happen immediately and might not even happen 
    just remember keep record of how your feeling and if the side effects are too much they can adjust the dose or give you something to help if you don’t tell them they cant help you. The nurses and Drs are there to do their best they can for you. 
  • tinypott
    tinypott Member Posts: 6
    Thank you cranky_nanny for your comments. Had my first dose of AC yesterday so a long road to go. A few sysptoms but manageable at this stage. Yeah I’ve been recording how I’m feeling & medications too, the only way to remember it all. Thanks once again & best wishes