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Ixabepilone (Injection)

Ixabepilone (ix-ab-EP-i-lone)

Treats advanced breast cancer in patients who have already received other types of breast cancer medicine. It is used alone or with another cancer medicine called capecitabine.

Brand Name(s):

Ixempra

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to ixabepilone or Cremophor® EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil). Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant, or if you have neutropenia (low white blood cell count), thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), or severe liver disease.

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • You will be given other medicines before you are given ixabepilone. These medicines may help prevent some of the side effects of ixabepilone.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using certain antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, rifabutin, rifampicin, rifampin, telithromycin, Biaxin®, Ilosone®, Ketek®, Mycobutin®, Rifadin®, or Rimactane®), medicine to treat fungal infections (such as fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole, Diflucan®, Nizoral®, Sporanox®, or Vfend®), or medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as amprenavir, atazanavir, delavirdine, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Agenerase®, Crixivan®, Fortovase®, Invirase®, Norvir®, Rescriptor®, Reyataz®, or Viracept®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using medicine for seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Dilantin®, or Tegretol®), verapamil (Verelan®), dexamethasone (Decadron®), nefazodone (Serzone®), or St. John's wort.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, diabetes, nerve problems (such as tingling or numbness), or a history of heart disease.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Avoid people who are ill, and wash your hands often. Brush and floss your teeth gently, do not play rough sports, and be careful with sharp objects.
  • This medicine may cause a serious allergic reaction that can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, trouble with breathing, chest pain, or swelling of the face, tongue, and throat after you get the injection.
  • Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
  • This medicine contains alcohol which may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Burning pain on urination.
  • Chest pain or discomfort.
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, or muscle cramps.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Pain, scaling, redness, tenderness, or sores on the skin of the hands and feet.
  • Shortness of breath or trouble with breathing.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • Unusual weight gain.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Bone, joint, or muscle pain.
  • Change in taste.
  • Constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain.
  • Hair loss.
  • Headache or dizziness.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Skin rash, itching, or darkening.
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
  • Trouble with sleeping.
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.
  • Weight loss.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 7/4/2014


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