Weekly Paclitaxel side effects

I’ve had 3 FEC cycles and am due to start Paclitaxel next week x 12 weekly cycles. All information seems to talk about side effects based on 3 weekly cycles not weekly and I wondered if anyone out there can share their experiences please?


I’m confused that if infection risk period is day 7-14 and hair loss around day 14 I’ll be onto second or third round by then so it sounds like it’s a rolling constant thing?


My oncologist said SEs will be minimal, I won’t need anti sickness drugs and my hair shouldn’t fall out - but that’s not what the info leaflet says!

Hi riversidedawn

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Thanks Janet. Everyone seems to be on 3 weekly cycles so will give a call later.

Hi Riverside Dawn
Sorry I don’t come on here so often now and have only just seen your thread. I had 6 weekly paclitaxel and can confirm my SE’s were minimal compared to FEC and Docetaxol. I was given Emend before each dose but didn’t need any further anti sickness drugs although o was always offered them.
I don’t think you have a time on the weekly when you are at higher risk of infection, didn’t have to have the GCSF injections as my neutrophils didn’t drop too much. Only had to have full pre chemo bloods every 3 weeks usually they just took a sample just before chemo given.
I don’t know about hair, I cold capped and was told to continue using it although hair did start to come back during this time. 9 weeks post chemo I have just coloured my hair, lashes and brows disappeared just after Paclitaxel but are back now.
The main side effects I had were very achy feet and legs and the horrible taste and dry cardboardy mouth. These are improving now.
The good thing about the weekly is that the sessions come round so quickly that it feels like you are getting through treatment. I hated cold cap on FEC but on paclitaxel I soon got used to it and didn’t seem too bad.
Hope all goes well for you, it will be over before you know it
Karen x

Not so far, although I don’t know how long after you can still have problems but they are fine at the moment!!

Forgot to mention, was on omeprazole from early FEC for acid stomach and remained on that during paclitaxel. Hair loss does slow down after first couple of Fec but carried on losing small amount until couple of weeks after chemo finished.

Love the wig in the wind image!!

Hi riversdawn, my oncologist has me down for this after 4×AC. She said its much easier cos the weekly dose is smaller…some times your hair even grows back! 

Mine will be alongside herceptin.  



Hi nar66 I started the taxol yesterday and had the same per meds as you. Woken up with a bright red face, is that normal?? Hope it’s still going ok.

Hi nan66, yes got started around 10 this morning, got about half an hour of cold capping left! It does seem much kinder so far. The 3 weekly doc sounds horrendous! I’ve ordered udder cream for the hands and feet but hasn’t come yet. Redness has eased over the week so wonder if it’ll return tomorrow. I haven’t had any steroid tablets to tak e this time so will be interesting to see if there’s any difference.

Hi ladies I’m a weekly paclitaxel girl . Had 3 fec , 1 disastrous docx and so far 6 paclitaxel . My onc ideally wants me to have 3 more , although I could have stopped at 6 . Today should have been my 7 th but my veins shut down and they could not get a cannula in . I was very upset in the chair . I really think I’ve had enough but I’m scared to stop . Any comments etc ? X

Can’t you get a picc line or port Debtex? Good going to get this far without. I’ve had 3 FEC and got 12 taxol! 2 down!

I am going to carry on if my veins ok but not prepared to have a picc so near the end of my treatment . I feel annoyed now as the nurse seemed quite inexperienced and by the time the Sister intervened my veins were too mucked about . I’m going to stop being so nice and compliant and demand I get the best person to do it ! I’ve had 10 drips in one vein and have a different nurse each time who seem unaware of this . Duh !

Debtex that sounds horrible. We deserve the best when going through this. It’s a shame you rid t get picc line sooner, I can understand you tony want it near the end but you need to finish your course. I was lucky I had a portcath fitted at the beginning which has made it easier:

Hi Ann, I’ve just had number 3. So far so good. I had surgery in September and have also had 3 rounds of FEC which were 3 weeks apart. (Well in reality 4-5 weeks as I had various infections). So far it’s a breeze. I’m cold capping too. My only side effects so far on taxol are bad taste in the mouth, tiredness and hot flushes/night sweats on top of my pre existing insomnia! After the first one I also woke up on the first morning with a bright red face and rash on torso, this lasted 24 hours and nurse reckons it was reaction to oral steroids on top of IiV ones. No rash on number 2.

FEC made me nauseous, loss of appetite, extremely tired, constipated, nose bleeds, hot flushes started, dizzy, hair loss (minimal)… So, so far this is a breeze. It’ll be interesting to hear your SEs if you’re only having taxol.i always take pain killers half hour before cold capping, and am using tins of hand & nail cream on hands and feet to try to pyrotechnics nails.

Hope you ge to sleep soon. Xx

Debtex, nan66, Sandie, how are you all doing?

Hi all . Getting to the end of paclitaxel now , one more to go . I’m very tired . No energy . Sore fingertips and toes . Struggle to stay warm . Dry mouth . Other then that ok . I think the dose of docetaxel did mess me up prior to the pax .hope everyone ok x

Well the first two days were ok had plenty of energy but the weekend has found me weary and feeling very cold and miserable despite the sun. Perhaps watching the Marathon on TV has reminded me that we all deserve medals for doing our own marathons. Countdown time, 2nd taxol on Wed and then only 10 to go and feels a lot gentler by comparison with the fecking FEC. Hope the s/es don’t build up too much though…And a lovely present in the post - a blue badge for the car!!