What Eribulin is and what it is used for?
- Eribulin is a synthetic product derived from a natural substance found in a sea sponge. This medicine inhibits the function of microtubules for cell division, thus stopping cancer cells from separating into two new cells, eventually causing cell death.
- Eribulin is used to treat patients with breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. This medicine may also be used to treat liposarcoma, as determined by your doctor.
How Eribulin is given?
- Eribulin is given as an infusion into a vein over several minutes.
What should I need to know while receiving Eribulin?
- 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.
- Do not receive this drug when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Men and women 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.
- Eribulin may affect fertility. You can talk to your doctor about methods of preserving fertility before treatment starts.
- There are many drugs may affect how eribulin works. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
- You will have regular blood tests to check that you have enough blood cells and have adequate liver functions to receive eribulin. The timing and dosing of your treatment may be changed based on the test results or other side effects.
- The existing health problems may affect the use of eribulin. 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.
- Fatigue and weakness
Try to pace yourself and rest as much as possible. Seek medical advice if fatigue does not go away when you rest and sleep.
- Hair loss
It may begin 2-3 weeks after your first treatment. Your hair will usually grow back after treatment has finished.
- 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.
- Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
Symptoms may last as long as therapy is continued and may become more severe. In some people, the symptoms will get better 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.
- Constipation or diarrhea
Talk to your doctor and ask for advice. Drinking plenty of water and dietary changes can improve the symptoms.
- Changes in liver function
Eribulin can affect how your liver works. Seek medical help right away if you have yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark or brown urine, or pain in abdomen, as these can be signs of liver toxicity.
- Electrolyte imbalance (such as calcium, potassium levels)
Symptoms are different with each salt. 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.
Less common side effects of Eribulin
- Mouth sores
Your doctor may give you medicines that help you feel better. Good mouth care will help prevent mouth sores.
- Muscle or joint pain
Talk to the doctor if the pain is bothering you, they can give you medicine to help ease pain.
Tell your doctor if this happens. Be sure to ask your doctor before taking any pain relievers.
- 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.
- QT prolongation
Eribulin can cause slow or abnormal heartbeats. Seek medical help at once if you have fluttering in the chest or have dizziness or fainting.
- Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day during treatment 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 cigarettes during cancer treatment. If you have any problem about drinking alcohol and smoking, you should check with your doctor.