Why is this medication prescribed?
Carfilzomib is used to treat people with multiple myeloma (a type of cancer of the bone marrow) who have already been treated with at least two other medications. Carfilzomib is in a class of medications called proteasome inhibitors. It works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells in your body.
How should this medicine be used?
Carfilzomib comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid to be injected intravenously (into a vein). Carfilzomib is given by a doctor or nurse 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.
Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment. Your doctor may stop your treatment for a while or decrease your dose of carfilzomib if you experience side effects of the medication.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking carfilzomib,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to carfilzomib, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in carfilzomib. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart failure, a heart attack, or other heart problems, if you are on dialysis, or if you have or have ever had a herpes infection (cold sores, shingles, or genital sores).
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You should use birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment with carfilzomib. If you become pregnant while using this medication, call your doctor. Carfilzomib may harm the fetus.
- you should know that carfilzomib may make you drowsy, dizzy, or lightheaded, or cause fainting. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Drink plenty of fluids every day during your treatment with carfilzomib, especially if you vomit or have diarrhea.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Carfilzomib may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- muscle spasm
- pain in the arms or legs
- changes in the sense of touch
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor:
- chills or shivering
- chest pain or tightness
- swelling of the feet of legs
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- joint or muscle pain
- flushing or swelling of the face
- pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
- extreme tiredness
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- flu-like symptoms
- bloody or black, tarry stools
- bloody vomit
- vomiting blood or brown material that resembles coffee grounds
- rash of pinpoint-sized reddish-purple spots, usually on the lower legs
- blood in the urine
- decreased urination
Carfilzomib may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests to check your body's response to carfilzomib.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about carfilzomib.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.