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Abraxane (Paclitaxel) - Indications and Dosage



ABRAXANE® for Injectable Suspension (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) is indicated for the treatment of breast cancer after failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within 6 months of adjuvant chemotherapy. Prior therapy should have included an anthracycline unless clinically contraindicated.


After failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer or relapse within 6 months of adjuvant chemotherapy, the recommended regimen for ABRAXANE for Injectable Suspension (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) is 260 mg/m2 administered intravenously over 30 minutes every 3 weeks.

Hepatic Impairment

The appropriate dose of ABRAXANE for patients with bilirubin greater than 1.5 mg/dL is not known.

Dose Reduction

Patients who experience severe neutropenia (neutrophil <500 cells/mm3 for a week or longer) or severe sensory neuropathy during ABRAXANE therapy should have dosage reduced to 220 mg/m2 for subsequent courses of ABRAXANE. For recurrence of severe neutropenia or severe sensory neuropathy, additional dose reduction should be made to 180 mg/m2. For grade 3 sensory neuropathy hold treatment until resolution to grade 1 or 2, followed by a dose reduction for all subsequent courses of ABRAXANE.

Preparation and Administration Precautions

ABRAXANE is a cytotoxic anticancer drug and, as with other potentially toxic paclitaxel compounds, caution should be exercised in handling ABRAXANE. The use of gloves is recommended. If ABRAXANE (lyophilized cake or reconstituted suspension) contacts the skin, wash the skin immediately and thoroughly with soap and water. Following topical exposure to paclitaxel, events may include tingling, burning and redness. If ABRAXANE® contacts mucous membranes, the membranes should be flushed thoroughly with water.

Given the possibility of extravasation, it is advisable to closely monitor the infusion site for possible infiltration during drug administration. Limiting the infusion of ABRAXANE to 30 minutes, as directed, reduces the likelihood of infusion-related reactions (see PRECAUTIONS: Injection Site Reaction).

No premedication to prevent hypersensitivity reactions is required prior to administration of ABRAXANE.

Preparation for Intravenous Administration

ABRAXANE is supplied as a sterile lyophilized powder for reconstitution before use. AVOID ERRORS, READ ENTIRE PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS PRIOR TO RECONSTITUTION.

  1. Aseptically, reconstitute each vial by injecting 20 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP.
  2. Slowly inject the 20 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP, over a minimum of 1 minute, using the sterile syringe to direct the solution flow onto the INSIDE WALL OF THE VIAL.
  3. DO NOT INJECT the 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP, directly onto the lyophilized cake as this will result in foaming.
  4. Once the injection is complete, allow the vial to sit for a minimum of 5 minutes to ensure proper wetting of the lyophilized cake/powder.
  5. Gently swirl and/or invert the vial slowly for at least 2 minutes until complete dissolution of any cake/powder occurs. Avoid generation of foam.
  6. If foaming or clumping occurs, stand solution for at least 15 minutes until foam subsides.

Each mL of the reconstituted formulation will contain 5 mg/mL paclitaxel.

Calculate the exact total dosing volume of 5 mg/mL suspension required for the patient: Dosing volume (mL) = Total dose (mg)/5 (mg/mL)

The reconstituted suspension should be milky and homogenous without visible particulates. If particulates or settling are visible, the vial should be gently inverted again to ensure complete resuspension prior to use. Discard the reconstituted suspension if precipitates are observed. Discard any unused portion.

Inject the appropriate amount of reconstituted ABRAXANE® into an empty, sterile IV bag (plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC) containers, PVC or non-PVC type IV bag). The use of specialized DEHP-free solution containers or administration sets is not necessary to prepare or administer ABRAXANE infusions. The use of an in-line filter is not recommended.

Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit.


Unopened vials of ABRAXANE are stable until the date indicated on the package when stored between 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F), in the original package. Neither freezing nor refrigeration adversely affects the stability of the product.

Stability of Reconstituted Suspension in the Vial

Reconstituted ABRAXANE should be used immediately, but may be refrigerated at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F) for a maximum of 8 hours if necessary. If not used immediately, each vial of reconstituted suspension should be replaced in the original carton to protect it from bright light. Discard any unused portion.

Stability of Reconstituted Suspension in the Infusion Bag

The suspension for infusion prepared as recommended in an infusion bag should be used immediately, but may be stored at ambient temperature (approximately 25° C) and lighting conditions for up to 8 hours.


Product No. 103450

NDC No. 68817-134-50           100 mg of paclitaxel in a single use vial, individually packaged in a carton.


Store the vials in original cartons at 20° C to 25° C (68° F to 77°F). Retain in the original package to protect from bright light.

Handling and Disposal

Procedures for proper handling and disposal of anticancer drugs should be considered. Several guidelines on this subject have been published.1-8 There is no general agreement that all of the procedures recommended in the guidelines are necessary or appropriate.

U.S. Patent Numbers: 5,439,686; 5,498,421; 6,096,331; 6,506,405;
                                  6,537,579; 6,749,868; 6,753,006

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