As with all medicines of this type there may be some unwanted side effects. You should discuss these with your doctor. The more common side-effects are listed below; there may also be other side effects that we cannot predict. Other medicines will be given to make side effects less serious and less uncomfortable.
With Docetaxel (Taxotere®) you may experience nausea and/or vomiting, mouth irritation, diarrhoea, fatigue, a pins and needles sensation * in your hands or feet, hair loss, changes in your skin and nails, muscular pain, decrease in blood cell counts, infection, and swelling due to fluid retention. Your blood pressure may also fall while the drug is being given, and this will be checked carefully. The infusion of Docetaxel (Taxotere®) may cause temporary local irritation and bruises if it is given into a small vein. All these side-effects have been experienced by some patients during previous studies and most of them are reversible. * (The items underlined may not be reversible).
Docetaxel (Taxotere®) + Zoledronic acid (Zometa®)
With Docetaxel (Taxotere®) + Zoledronic acid (Zometa®) you may experience the same effects as stated for Docetaxel (Taxotere) above with a rise in temperature, and flu-like symptoms, consisting of fever and bone pain due to the Zoledronic acid (Zometa). Zoledronic acid may also affect your kidney function. Blood samples will be taken prior to zoledronic acid (Zometa) infusion at every study visit to check that your kidney function has not been affected.
Docetaxel (Taxotere®) + Zoledronic Acid (Zometa®) + strontium-89
With Docetaxel (Taxotere®) + Zoledronic Acid (Zometa®) + strontium-89 you may experience the same side effects as stated above for Docetaxel (Taxotere®) and Zoledronic acid (Zometa). The addition of Strontium-89 to Docetaxel (Taxotere) and Zoledronic acid (Zometa®) may cause some bone pain lasting 36 to 72 hours following injection. This can usually be controlled by analgesics (pain killers). Strontium-89 can also affect your blood counts following injection; these will be monitored very closely with regular blood tests.
Docetaxel (Taxotere®) + strontium-89
With Docetaxel (Taxotere®) + strontium-89 the addition of Strontium-89 to Docetaxel (Taxotere) may cause some bone pain lasting 36 to 72 hours following injection. This can usually be controlled by analgesics (pain killers). Strontium-89 can also affect your blood counts following injection; these will be monitored very closely with regular blood tests.
As with any chemotherapy it is possible that your treatment could cause problems to an unborn child. You must take full contraceptive precautions if there is any chance of you fathering a child during and for at least 2 months after the treatment.
If you have a fever or bruising after receiving either of the drug combinations, it is important that you contact your hospital doctor immediately. If you have a fever your doctor will perform some blood tests and may prescribe antibiotics.
For more information about risks and side effects, ask your doctor.You may require one extra bone scan more than you would if you were not taking part in the study. You may require one additional CT scan and will receive two additional bone density scans.
(DXA scans) more than you would receive if you were not taking part in the study. Any potential health risk associated with these or any of the above scans is considered to be low for a patient with your medical condition. The radioactive strontium is intended to give a very high radiation dose to any parts of your bones that are involved in your cancer.
The rest of your body gets a lower radiation dose and your doctor will explain possible side effects with you. Any potential health risk associated with the radiation is considered to be minimal for a patient with your medical condition.
If you have private medical insurance you may wish to to consult your medical insurers before agreeing to take part in the study. This is to ensure that you participation will not affect your medical insurance cover.