Carfilzomib is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat a type of blood cancer called multiple myeloma. It is used for those who have received at least one prior treatment or whose cancer is still progressing.
Carfilzomib injection is to be given intravenously (into the vein). It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
The dose and schedule of administration of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the dosage and course of the treatment depending on the type and severity of your condition and response to the medication.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Carfilzomib.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Do not use Carfilzomib if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Carfilzomib may cause harm to your unborn child.
Men should not father a child while being treated with this medicine. Both men and women must use proven birth control methods during Carfilzomib therapy and for 6 months (in women) or 3 months (in men) after stopping the treatment. You may wish to discuss other reliable methods of birth control with your doctor.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease (e.g. history of heart attack, irregular heartbeat, chest pain)
- thromboembolism (blockage of a blood vessel by a blood clot)
- kidney disease
- liver disease
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Pregnancy tests must be done before treatment to know if this medicine is suited for you to use.
- Routine tests (e.g. heart, liver or kidney function, electrolyte levels, blood tests) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine.
- Your blood pressure may rise to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure before and during treatment.
- Regular monitoring of skin reactions, fluid overload and bleeding may also be needed.
Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
Carfilzomib may cause tiredness, dizziness or blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, stomach pain, toothache, fever, weakness, chills, back pain, joint and muscle pain, difficulty sleeping, rash, itching, redness of the skin.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid or irregular heartbeat
- swelling in the ankles, feet or legs
- difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing up mucous, bluish tint to the skin, lips or fingernails
- confusion, seizures, visual loss
- unusual bruising or bleeding e.g. gum or nose bleeding, coughing up blood, pass out bloody stools or black as tar and vomiting blood, or ground-coffee like material
This medicine will cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Alert your doctor if you have a fever or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Alert your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Carfilzomib with the following medicines:
- prednisone (asthma medicine)
- melphalan (medicine for cancer)
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- digoxin (medicine for heart disease)
- colchicine (medicine for gout)
Inform your doctor if you are currently taking birth control pills or using other birth control method as this may increase the risk of side effects of Carfilzomib. You should not stop or start any birth control pills without first informing your doctor. Ask your doctor about using non-hormonal birth control as an alternative while being treated with this medicine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8 °C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.
Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired vials to the clinic, hospital, or pharmacy for disposal.