Carfilzomib treats multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow. May cause extreme tiredness, nausea and anemia. Women should not get pregnant while on this medication.
Carfilzomib is a prescription medication used to treat people with multiple myeloma. It is also approved in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received one to three prior lines of therapy.
Carfilzomib is in a class of medications called proteasome inhibitors. It works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells in your body.
Carfilzomib comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid to be injected intravenously (into a vein) by a healthcare professional.
Common side effects include fatigue, anemia, and nausea. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
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Uses of Carfilzomib
Carfilzomib is used to treat people with multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer of the bone marrow. It is also approved in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received one to three prior lines of therapy.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Carfilzomib Brand Names
Carfilzomib may be found in some form under the following brand names:
Carfilzomib Drug Class
Carfilzomib is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Carfilzomib
Common side effects of carfilzomib, when given alone, include the following:
- low blood platelet counts
- difficulty breathing
Common side effects of carfilzomib, when given with lenalidomide and dexamethasone, include the following:
- decreased blood cell counts
- muscle spasm
- upper respiratory tract infection
- low potassium
This is not a complete list of this medication’s side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
No drug interactions have been determined by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.
Serious side effects have been reported with carfilzomib including the following:
- heart problems including heart failure and ischemia (a restriction in blood supply to the heart). Your doctor will want to monitor for these complications.
- shortness of breath. This most commonly occurs within a day of dosing. Tell your doctor right away if you experience shortness of breath.
- high blood pressure. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure.
- blood clots. Your doctor will monitor you regularly and may need to add medication to prevent blood clots from forming.
- lung damage
- pulmonary hypertension. This is a condition when there is high blood pressure in the arteries to your lungs. Your doctor may stop treatment with carfilzomib if you develop this complication. Symptoms include
- shortness of breath during routine activity, such as climbing two flights of stairs
- chest pain
- a racing heartbeat
- pain on the upper right side of the abdomen
- decreased appetite
- infusion reactions. Infusion reactions can occur with this medication. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you get any of these symptoms during or after an infusion this medication:
- hives (red itchy welts) or rash
- swelling of your lips, tongue, throat or face
- sudden cough
- shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or wheezing
- dizziness or feel faint
- palpitations (feel like your heart is racing or fluttering)
- chest pain
- acute kidney failure. Your doctor will monitor you regularly.
- tumor lysis syndrome (TLS). TLS is a severe, sometimes life-threatening alteration in blood chemistry that occurs with the release of materials formerly contained within cancer cells into the bloodstream. It is important to stay hydrated and follow directions with any medications your doctor may prescribe in order to prevent TLS.
- severe bleeding problems. Your doctor will monitor your signs and symptoms of blood loss.
- low platelet count (thrombocytopenia). Tell your doctor right away if you have any unusual bleeding, such as nosebleeds, or bruising under your skin.
- liver toxicity and/or failure. Your doctor will want to monitor liver with lab tests while you are taking carfilzomib.
- blood problems such as thrombotic microangiopathy, including thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome (TTP/HUS). Your doctor will monitor for signs and symptoms of TTP/HUS.
- brain problem such as posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). Your doctor may order an MRI if you start to experience visual or neurological symptoms.
- harm to your unborn baby: Carfilzomib can cause fetal harm. Females of reproductive potential should avoid becoming pregnant while being treated. Use effective contraception to prevent pregnancy during treatment with carfilzomib. If you become pregnant during treatment, contact your physician immediately.
Avoid dehydration, since patients receiving carfilzomib therapy may experience vomiting and/or diarrhea. Get medical advice if you experience symptoms of dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting spells.
Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
Do not take this medication if you are allergic to carfilzomib or to any of its ingredients.
Carfilzomib Food Interactions
Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of this medication, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet.
Drink plenty of fluids every day during your treatment with carfilzomib, especially if you vomit or have diarrhea.
Before taking carfilzomib, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:
- are allergic to carfilzomib or to any of its ingredients
- have liver problems
- have heart problems
- have lung problems
- have any type of blood disorder
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Carfilzomib and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
This medication falls into category D. Carfilzomib can cause harm to the fetus (unborn baby). If you are a female patient with the potential to become pregnant, it is recommended that you avoid pregnancy while being treated with this medication and to use effective contraceptive (birth control) measures.
Carfilzomib and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
It is not known if this medication crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using this medication.
Carfilzomib comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid to be injected intravenously (into a vein).
Carfilzomib is given by a healthcare professional in a medical office or clinic. It is usually given two days in a row each week for three weeks followed by a 12-day rest period. The length of treatment will depend on how well your body responds to the medication.
Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:
- the condition being treated
- other medical conditions you have
- other medications you are taking
- how you respond to this medication
- your weight
- your height
- your age
Dose recommendations when carfilzomib is given with dexamethasone:
The recommended Cycle 1 dose is 20 mg/m2/day. If tolerated, the dose can be increased to 56 mg/m2 on Day 8 of Cycle 1. For the next cycles, the recommended dose is 56 mg/m2/day.
Dose recommendations when carfilzomib is given alone:
For 10 minute infusion: The recommended Cycle 1 dose is 20 mg/m2/day. If tolerated, the dose can be increased to 27 mg/m2 on Day 8 of Cycle 1. If tolerated, Cycle 2 dose and remaining cycles doses will be at 27 mg/m2/day.
For 30 minute infusion: The recommended Cycle 1 dose is 20 mg/m2/day. If tolerated, the dose can be increased to 56 mg/m2 on Day 8 of Cycle 1. For the next cycles, the recommended dose is 56 mg/m2/day.
Since this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.