Severe allergic reaction to paclitoxel

Dearest Ladies!

I've been following this forum since the beginning of February, when I was diagnosed with 3c/4 High Grade serous OC. I admire everybody's courage, kindness and responsiveness. This is my first post.

My first chemo was a disaster as I developed anaphylactic shock to paclitoxel seconds after it started to be administered despite of pre-med. My treatment was stopped and I didn't get any chemo on that day. A week after I was given carboplatin on its own, as I was getting anxious about a monster growing inside me without a slight attempt to be stopped. That one was fine.

My second chemo is scheduled in two week time and docetaxel (taxotere) will be used along with carboplatin.

My question: has anyone had a similar experience?

26 Replies

  • Hi I'm sorry you've had to go through all that, it's hard enough going through the chemo without all the other worries, I have had the same reaction but on a different chemo drug Caelyx, it is a horrible and worrying experience. My treatment was stopped and I recovered well and then they tried again but at putting the Caelyx through slower, this worked. I was kept under very close monitoring. My oncologist was fab he was on duty at the time and came to check on me four times to make sure I was ok and things were going to plan.

    Wishing you all the best for your second treatment, there are lots of ladies who have been through similar experiences on here.

    Take care


  • Hi KMAllan,

    My oncology team suggested I go as an inpatient next time, so they can monitor me and take actions if anything unforeseen happens again.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with me.



  • Hi I had a grade 3 anaphalatic shock on Carboplatin and its not the best experience although I dont remember much as I was out cold for over an hour, had 15 shots of adrenaline and then admitted overnight. I was told it happens from time to time. i then changed chemo to cisplatin and had to go back the following week. Chemo them continued albeit I was treated with kid gloves and watched like a hawk lol. I can never have carboplatin ever again. Hence they give antihistimines before chemo though obviously they didnt help that day. My chemo nurse said she didnt sleep that night I scred the life out of her lol, bless they are so caring :) . Hope you recovered well and the rest of your treatment goes well xx Kathy xx

  • Thank you, Kathy, for your response. Your experience was much scarier as I came to conciseness pretty quickly and then they just had to bring my blood pressure back, which took a while. My husband is relieved that I am going to be in inpatient and monitored, as he witnessed it all.

    By the way, you are the first lady to reply to me, the rest are very kind guys as I by mistake sent my post to everyone not just Ovacome! xxx

  • Id sent my hubby off shopping so luckily he didnt see much . The nurses rang his mobile and called him back so that was scary for him and he only got back as I was coming round so Im grateful he didnt witness too much, he worries at the best of times bless him! i forgot to say Im 31 months in remission so swopping chemo made no difference :) xx

  • Hi Kathy, thanks for sharing this. I am only anxious as it is 3c/4. so want to nail the nasty thing as soon as possible. Trying to keep my spirit positive! Elena xxx

  • Stay positive Im stage 3 and still here 8.5 years later :)

  • Thank you Kathy! That is the greatest inspiration talking to people who's been in the same shoes! xxx

  • I had a nasty reaction to Taxol during chemo 2. I was given antihistamines and Lord knows what else and then Taxol was reintroduced with no problem. Care was taken during chemo 3 and fortunately no adverse reaction. Hope all goes well for you. Take care.

  • Thank you for your reply. I am glad your reaction to Taxol had come down. I hope docetaxel which has a similar mechanism of action as paclitaxel will work this time for me. x

  • Twice I had a reaction to Taxel so that was discontinued. Then caelyx was tried but I reacted to this as well. Consequently all I have is carboplatin. This worried me for some time but scans last week show improvement. Hopefully your results will be positive.

  • Hi this has just happened to me taxol now caelyx. It's worrying isn't it.

    What did they try next?

    And is there enough types to keep us going ? 🤷‍♀️

  • They didn't try anything else. I was scared as I felt the doctor had just put me in the too hard basket. After the nine doses of carboplatin I had a scan which showed no evidence of the disease. That was a huge relief. Unfortunately markers are going up and a scan is ordered. I am now stressing over what will be available if there is a recurrence.

  • Did u have op? What is ur diagnosis? I was told off nurse there's plenty of chemo like can try

  • I had already had surgery and the gynaecological oncologist thought she had got everything. She said chemo was "too make sure nothing was missed".

  • Thank you, this is reassuring x

  • Yes, I, too, had an anaphylactic reaction to Paclitaxel, last year. Horrible, but the nurses were right there. I changed to Gemcitabine. A month ago, I restarted chemo, and had a very bad reaction to Caelyx, so I'm off that, too! it happens. It's a very unpleasant experience, but we are in the right place at the time. All the best with the rest of your treatment xxx

  • Thank you for your support, good to hear about your experience. I hope your current chemo is going well xxx

  • I had a reaction to carboplatin and now have to have cisplatin. It's for 3rd line as I started with all this in December 2010, having been diagnosed stage 3/4. It's going well now and I have a scan next week to see whether it's doing the job. Good luck with your treatment.

  • Thank you for your reply, Lesley. Good luck with the scan xxx

  • Hi Elgrace,

    I had a reaction,face like a tomatoe, terrible burning pain around my middle and like a heavy weight on my chest.

    They immediately stopped the infusion and waited until my symptoms subsided, then greatly reduced the speed for half an hour and then slowly speeded it up. I was also given a greater amount of ant histomines each chemo session and kept up the slower infusion and it worked, never had another reaction and I am a year in remission,so, don't despair, they will find the right thing for you and it may still mean you can have the taxol, there was no discussion of them trying anything different,

    Wish you well

    Carole xx

  • Thank your support Carole! I was worried about the delay as my OC is quite advanced. I do hope the second chemo goes smoothly, so do the rest of them. Elena xxx

  • I am sorry you had that reaction, I have been lucky so far but I know that they can slow down the drip and that helps you. I wish you well for the the next time

  • Hi Suzuki, thank you for your time to reply and wishing me well. Elena xxx

  • Hi Elena, I too had a very serious reaction to tackle, cant remember much but was not allowed taxol again, very scary. This was tthree years ago when diagnosed Stage 3 c, continued with carboplatin only, very successful and no far, touch wood !! Good luck

    Love kaz

  • Hi Kaz, I am so grateful that you replied! I am so extremely worried that my chemo was postponed and next time I had just carboplatin. I read a scientific paper on clinical trials to compare carboplatin alone and carboplatin/taxol. But talking to someone who's been there before you is much more reassuring. Love, Elena xxx

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