What Carfilzomib is and what it is used for?
- Carfilzomib is a proteasome inhibitor. A proteasome is an enzyme that is responsible for breaking down proteins in cells. By blocking the action of proteasome, waste proteins build up in myeloma cells, and cause them to die.
- Carfilzomib is used to treat patients with multiple myeloma that has worsened after treatment with other medicines.
How Carfilzomib is given?
- Carfilzomib is given as an intravenous infusion over 30 minutes.
What should I know while receiving Carfilzomib?
- An allergic reaction may happen during or shortly after the infusion, causing fever and chills, breathing difficulties, facial swelling, or hives. Tell your nurse right away if you feel unwell during an infusion.
- Do not use carfilzomib when you are pregnant. Men and women should use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 3 and 6 months after the treatment ends.
- Do not breastfeed and for 2 weeks after the last dose.
- Do not receive any kind of vaccination without doctor's approval.
- You will have regular blood tests to check that you have enough blood cells and have adequate organ functions to receive this drug. The timing of your treatment may be changed based on the test results or other side effects.
- Carfilzomib may affect your blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you have problems with blood pressure before starting treatment. You should check your blood pressure regularly during treatment, and let your doctor know if you have any discomforts or notice any significant changes in blood pressure.
- The existing health problems may affect the use of carfilzomib. You should let your doctor know if you have any other medical problems, especially heart diseases, 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 or vomiting
Medicines may be given before the treatment to prevent it happening. Eating and drinking often in small amounts may reduce the discomfort.
- Weakness and fatigue
Try to pace yourself and rest as much as possible. Seek medical advice if fatigue does not go away when you rest and sleep.
- Diarrhea or constipation
Talk to your doctor and ask for advice. Drinking plenty of water and dietary changes can improve the symptoms.
- Cough or trouble breathing
You may have sore throat or stuffy nose without any signs of infection. Talk to your doctor if this side effect bothers you.
- Flu like symptoms
- Symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pains and shivering may occur a few hours after treatment. These symptoms generally last for 2 to 3 days. Seek medical help if you do not get any better.
Less common side effects
- Swelling in the hands or feet
Tell your doctor if your hands, arms, legs, or feet feel puffy or tender. The doctor may give medicines to reduce your symptoms and suggest ways to prevent fluid buildup.
- Electrolyte imbalance (such as magnesium, potassium levels)
You may feel weak or numb, have muscle spasms, or twitch. Your heart may beat fast or blood pressure may change. Your doctor will monitor your electrolyte levels and may prescribe specific electrolytes to be given by intravenous injection or taken by mouth.
- Changes in heart function
This drug may affect heart function, including without symptoms, such as reduced heart function, and with symptoms, such as heart failure. Contact a doctor right away if you notice that you have swelling in the legs, an abnormal heartbeat or pain or tightness in your chest.
- Carfilzomib may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
- Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day can help make your recovery a smoother process.
- Alcohol and cigarettes may interfere with certain medicines or worsen side effects from chemotherapy treatment. It is wise to avoid alcohol and cigarette smoking during 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 carfilzomib works and can worsen the side effects.
- Avoid taking St. John's wort as it may make carfilzomib less effective.