Author(s): Komagata H, Yoneda S, Sakai H, Isobe K, Shirai T,
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Abstract Patients receiving paclitaxel or docetaxel also receive a significant amount of ethanol, as both products contain ethanol as solvent. Patients in our clinics have occasionally exhibited signs of alcohol intoxication immediately after paclitaxel infusion. In 2002, the Japanese government lowered the minimum ethanol concentration for the definition of drunk driving, with the threshold breath alcohol concentration (BRAC) of 0.15 mg/l. The aim of this study was to measure BRAC in Japanese outpatients treated with paclitaxel or docetaxel and to assess intoxication according to this standard. Fifty-two Japanese patients were enrolled from October 2003 to February 2004. Patient characteristics were as follows: male/female, 13/39: median age, 71 (range: 34-78); breast/lung/ovarian cancer 24/16/12; and paclitaxel/docetaxel treatment: 36/16, respectively. The mean total doses of paclitaxel or docetaxel were 178 mg (range: 107-300) and 53 mg (30-100), respectively. Breath samples were measured three times immediately following the infusion of paclitaxel or docetaxel via ethyl alcohol detector and the mean value was recorded. BRAC was detected in 20 patients (56\%) with paclitaxel and in none of the docetaxel patients. BRAC was measured again 30 min after the initial measurement in BRAC-detected cases with the patients' permission. In four of six BRAC-remeasured patients, BRAC became undetectable after 30 min. There was no correlation between the total doses of paclitaxel and BRAC or between the infusion rates of paclitaxel and BRAC. In conclusion, clinicians should recognize the potential for alcohol intoxication with paclitaxel administration. Patients should be instructed to avoid driving on the day of paclitaxel administration.
This article was published in Int J Clin Pharmacol Res
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology