Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond
(kar FILZ oh mib)
Carfilzomib is the generic name for the trade name drug Kyprolis™. In some cases, health care professionals may use the trade name Kyprolis™ when referring
to the generic drug name carfilzomib.
Carfilzomib is a targeted therapy. Carfilzomib is classified as a Proteasome Inhibitor. (For more detail, see "How this drug works" below).
What Carfilzomib Is Used For:
Treatment of multiple myeloma
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.
How Carfilzomib Is Given:
As an intravenous/IV (into the vein) infusion.
The amount of carfilzomib that you will receive depends on many factors, including your height and weight, your general health or other health problems,
and the type of cancer or condition you have. Your doctor will determine your exact dosage and schedule.
Carfilzomib Side Effects:
Important things to remember about the side effects of carfilzomib:
Most people will not experience all of the carfilzomib side effects listed.
Carfilzomib side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, duration, and severity.
Carfilzomib side effects will improve after therapy is complete.
Carfilzomib side effects may be quite manageable. There are many options to minimize or prevent the side effects of carfilzomib.
The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients taking Carfilzomib:
Low blood counts.
Your white and red blood cells in addition to your platelets may temporarily decrease. This can put you at increased risk for infection, anemia and/or
: about day 8 of cycle
These are less common side effects (occurring in about 10-29%) of patients receiving carfilzomib:
Not all side effects are listed above. Side effects that are very rare -- occurring in less than about 10 percent of patients -- are not listed here. But
you should always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
When To Contact Your Doctor or Health Care Provider:
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:
Fever of 100.4º F (38º C) or higher, chills (possible signs of infection)
Severe Shortness of breath
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of
Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period).
Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication).
Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period).
Unable to eat or drink for 24 hours or have signs of dehydration: tiredness, thirst, dry mouth, dark and decrease amount of urine, or dizziness.
Shortness of breath, with or without cough and/or fever.
Skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow
Urine turns dark or brown (tea color)
Pain on the right side of your stomach
Bleed or bruise more easily than normal
Itching or rash
Changes in thinking clearly with logic
Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet
· Signs of infection. These include: very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine,
mouth sores, wound that will not heal or anal itching or pain.
Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools
Blood in the urine
Pain or burning with urination
· Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
Before starting carfilzomib treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription,
over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.).
Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor’s approval while taking carfilzomib.
Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. Pregnancy category D (carfilzomib may be
hazardous to the fetus. Women who are pregnant or become pregnant must be advised of the potential hazard to the fetus.).
For both men and women: Use contraceptives, and do not conceive a child (get pregnant) while taking carfilzomib. Barrier methods of contraception, such
as condoms, are recommended.
Do not breast feed while taking carfilzomib.
Carfilzomib Self-Care Tips:
- Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
- You may be at risk of infection so try to avoid crowds or people with colds, and report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your health care provider.
- Wash your hands often.
- When working in your yard, wear protective clothing including long pants and gloves.
- Do not handle pet waste.
- Keep all cuts or scratches clean.
- Shower or bath daily and perform frequent mouth care.
- Do not cut cuticles or ingrown nails. You may wear nail polish, but not fake nails.
- Ask your doctor or nurse before scheduling dental appointments or procedures.
- Ask your doctor or nurse before you, or someone you live with, has any vaccinations.
- Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
- Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
- To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals. Good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
- For constipation, drinking more liquids, working out, or adding fiber to your diet may help. Talk with your doctor about a stool softener or laxative.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition.
- If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.
- For flu-like symptoms, keep warm with blankets and drink plenty of liquids. There are medications that can help reduce the discomfort caused by chills.
- Acetaminophen may help relieve discomfort from fever, headache and/or generalized aches and pains. However, be sure to talk with your doctor before taking it.
- Keep your mouth clean with baking soda and salt rinses. You can mix 1/2 to 1 tsp. of baking soda and/or 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt in 8 ounces of water, and use as a mouthwash, to avoid or decrease the severity of mouth sores.
If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other
suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.
Monitoring and Testing While Taking Carfilzomib:
You will be checked regularly by your doctor while you are taking carfilzomib, to monitor side effects and check your response to therapy. Periodic
blood work will be obtained to monitor your complete blood count (CBC) as well as the function of other organs (such as your kidneys, lungs, heart and
liver) will also be ordered by your doctor.
· Because drug toxicity is seen, periodic physical examinations and review of your symptoms, which includes a check of your reflexes, is necessary.
How Carfilzomib Works:
Targeted therapy is the result of about 100 years of research dedicated to understanding the differences between cancer cells and normal cells. To date,
cancer treatment has focused primarily on killing rapidly dividing cells because one feature of cancer cells is that divide rapidly. Unfortunately, some of
our normal cells divide rapidly too, causing multiple side effects.
Targeted therapy is about identifying other features of cancer cells. Scientists look for specific differences in the cancer cells and the normal cells.
This information is used to create a targeted therapy to attack the cancer cells without damaging the normal cells, thus leading to fewer side effects.
Each type of targeted therapy works a little bit differently but all interfere with the ability of the cancer cell to grow, divide, repair and/or
communicate with other cells.
There are different types of targeted therapies, defined in three broad categories. Some targeted therapies focus on the internal components and function
of the cancer cell. The targeted therapies use small molecules that can get into the cell and disrupt the function of the cells, causing them to die. There
are several types of targeted therapy that focus on the inner parts of the cells. Other targeted therapies target receptors that are on the outside of the
cell. Therapies that target receptors are also known as monoclonal antibodies.
The third broad category of targeted therapies is called anti-angiogenesis inhibitors. These therapies target the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the
cells, ultimately causing the cells to starve.
Research continues to identify which cancers may be best treated with targeted therapies and to identify additional targets for more types of cancer.
Carfilzomib targets and inhibits the proteasome enzyme complex within the cell. Proteasome is part of the cellular machinery and has many functions within
the cell, such as it helps to control the level of many of the proteins that help to regulate cell division and cell survival. By interfering with its
function this can lead to apoptosis (cell suicide). In the laboratory, it has been shown that cancer cells are more susceptible to the effects of
proteasome inhibitors, than normal cells are. In multiple myeloma, carfilzomib works by blocking the activation of certain molecules that allow plasma
cells to "nest" in the bone marrow.
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained
in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice.
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