What Cabazitaxel is and what it is used for?
- Cabazitaxel is a synthetic analogue of taxane, a nature product derived from the needles of the European yew tree. This medicine inhibits the action of proteins called microtubules for cell division, thus stopping cancer cells from separating into two new cells, eventually causing cell death.
- Cabazitaxel is used with the steroid medicine to treat men with prostate cancer that has spread and has worsened after treatment with medicines, including hormone therapy and docetaxel.
How Cabazitaxel is given?
- Cabazitaxel is given through a vein as a one-hour infusion.
What should I know while receiving Cabazitaxel?
- An allergic reaction may happen during or shortly after the infusion, causing fever and chills, breathing difficulties, swelling of throat or face, or hives. Tell your nurse right away if you feel unwell during an infusion.
- If cabazitaxel leaks into the skin, it can cause severe tissue damage and blistering. Tell your nurse right away if you notice swelling, pain, or redness at the injection site during an infusion.
- Men should use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 3 months after the treatment ends.
- Do not receive any kind of vaccination without doctor's approval.
- You will have regular blood tests to make sure you have enough blood cells and have adequate organ functions to receive cabazitaxel. The timing and dosing of your treatment may be changed based on the test results or side effects.
- The existing health problems may affect the use of cabazitaxel. You should let your doctor know if you have any other medical problems, especially liver or kidney problems.
Common side effects
- Low white blood cell count
You may have a higher risk of getting infections. Try to stay away from crowds and wash hands often. Tell your doctor right away if you have repeated fevers, coughing, stuffy nose, a painful urination or wound that becomes red and swollen.
- Low red blood cell count
You may look pale and get tired more easily. Let your doctor know if you experience any difficulty breathing or dizziness when changing positions.
- Low platelet count
You may have a higher risk of bleeding. Let your doctor know if you find red or purple dots on the skin, bleeding from the nose or gums, or any bruising or bleeding that you cannot explain.
- Nausea and vomiting
Medicines may be given before the treatment to prevent it happening. Eating and drinking often in small amounts may reduce the discomfort.
- Diarrhea and constipation
Talk to your doctor and ask for advice. Drinking plenty of water and dietary changes can improve the symptoms.
Less common side effects
- Hair loss
It may begin 2-3 weeks after your first treatment. Your hair will usually grow back after treatment has finished.
- Loss of appetite
Try to eat in small quantities and have frequent meals. If your appetite does not get any better after a few days, tell your doctor.
- Muscle pain
Talk to the doctor if the pain is bothering you, they can give you medicine to help ease pain.
- Taste alteration
Foods may taste differently or you may have a metallic taste in the mouth. Taste may return slowly after the treatment has ended.
- Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
Symptoms may last as long as therapy is continued. In some people, the symptoms will get better slowly after treatment ends, but for some it never goes away completely. Protect areas where sensation is decreased and let your doctor know any unusual feeling you have.
- Blood in urine
This is more common in patients receiving pelvic radiation therapy. Tell your doctor if you have burning sensation when you pass urine or blood in urine.
- There are many drugs may affect how cabazitaxel works. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
- Alcohol and cigarettes may interfere with certain medicines or worsen side effects from chemotherapy treatment. It is wise to avoid alcohol and cigarettes during cancer treatment. If you have any problem about drinking alcohol and smoking, you should check with your doctor.
- Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking beverages containing grapefruit. This is because grapefruits can affect how cabazitaxel works and can worsen the side effects.
- Avoid the use of St. John's Wort as it may make cabazitaxel less effective.