Taxotere and severe pain

Hi there, I am new to the site and have found it extremely helpful to hear people’s comments and experiences of living with breat cancer.
I am just wondering if anyone has experienced the horrifying contraction-like pains that I have suffered with whilst on Taxotere? I thought I had a high pain threshold, but this has had me crawling around in agony . I have my treatment on the Wednesday, and all is fine until the Saturday evening and then all hell lets loose and I have these pains all over my body until Tuesday morning. When I told the doctors they seemed surprised and said it sounded like severe myalgia and that it was unusual for the pain to be that bad. However, when I had my next dose, I spoke to a young woman who had been hospitalised with the pain.
I have one more treatment to go, and obviously I am terrified of going through it all again. My GP prescribed Co-dydramol, then Tramadol which didn’t touch it, and the Oncology team suggested that I add in ibroprufen, but still no joy. Even with the addition of temazepam, as a muscle relaxant I had no respite. I think I am going to have to ask for a morphine-based pain-killer, which I am reluctant to do, and I just wondered if anyone has gone through the same pain, and if anything worked for them?

Hi Annie

Sounds terrible for you. What about them dose reducing the taxotere - is that an option? I know with Taxol they can use a steroid to help the pain - please ask them about that. IF they do prescribe you morphine, please don’t be too worried about it, opiates are usually very effective painkillers (but make sure they give you something to stop constipation).


I had terrible pains with taxotere. The doctor said to start taking the pain killers before the expected day of the pain. Also to take them regularly. I found that this helped with the second and third cycle. I took tramadol and co-codamol. Love Eileen

I have had 2 lots of Tax and have experienced pain - My Onc reduced my second dose by 10%. I have likened it to the pain I experienced during contractions - It is quite bad for a couple of days when I dose myself up with ibruprofen, and I find it is worse in my lower legs and feet. I am a week post chemo now and I still feel mild shooting pains, especially when I lay down for a rest (which I am doing very regularly) and I have terrible twitchy legs at night.

I would suggest discussing a reduced does with your oncologist.


I also had thes severe pains with each taxotere. I couldn’t walk for about 3 days each cycle. I had soemthing called garbopentine which I took a few days before the taxotere until about 5days after. It made me sleepy but it did help the pain. I know ibruprofen or voltarol even combined with parecetamol did nothing. I only had 4 and the last one was reduced by 20% and that helped the pain. the onc said it was the first 2 that were the important ones.
It put me off having more chemo again as I have never been so ill as I was on taxotere.
I really hope they reduce the dose and it helps you. I can only offer symapthy -I rememeber it so well.Poor you

hi welcome to breast cancer care, i am sorry you have to be here but everyone is so nice and you get good advice.
i have only just finnished three cycles of taxoter and i used ibuprofen and paracetamol for the pain i found the best thing is to keep still and then the cramps go however your pain sound really server i bet you can not relax, i am two weeks after my last chemo and i can not walk 100 yards without having to sit down my back feels like it will snap and when i sit down the pain goes. i belive the the pain is due to having so many steriods as they make you swell up.

have you painted your nails dark colour it will stop them from faling off, i was told the nails become light Sensitive i have painted mine thet were just going black after painting them the black on my nails has got better i done my toenails as well i still have all of them my friend has lost toenails she did not paint has worked for me the other thing i used to do is freeze capri sun drinks and while i was having my chemo i would munch away it is supposed to help with sore throats.

i hope you can find something that helps you with the pain i always told my self it is the best chemo as it kills every thing i wish you all the best with your trearment.

ann x


I was taken off Taxotere and put onto Taxol because of severe pain. I also had a very bad allergic reaction following my first treatment of Taxotere and had to be wheeled back into the hospital after collapsing outside with severe back pain. I was on my own one day and the pain in my stomach was so severe, my temperature was at 39 I had to get an ambulance because they wanted me back to hospital. I ended up in hospital for 4 days, the pain only subsiding after about 3. They couldn’t find any infection and put it down to the strength of the Taxotere, hence changing me to Taxol which was brilliant in comparison. I’m glad I’m through it and can only wish you all the best of luck for your remaining treatment.


Thanks for all the tips, girls. I will go armed with the various options you have recommended and hope for the best. it will be my last (yeah!!) chemo, then 25 r/therapy sessions to go, then freedom!
I have painted all my nails a very foxy dark brown, which I hope will help to preserve them, although they are very sensitive to pressure. I guess I’ll just have to stop the housework!! I wish…

As for the whole mouth thing, I have Nystatin prescribed BEFORE treatment, so as soon as the carpet starts to cover my tongue, I am ready for it. Also find DIFFLAM good for ulcers, and my dentist gave me some stuff call Gengigel to put directly on ulcers. I also get through bottles of lime juice cordial, probably not good for me, but I love the taste and it kills off that horrid taste that you seem to get all the time!

Best wishes to you all.