Cabazitaxel (Generic Name)

Other Names: Jevtana®

About This Drug

Cabazitaxel is a drug used to treat cancer. This drug is given intravenously (IV).

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bone marrow depression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Bone marrow depression usually occurs 7 to 10 days after the drug is given and may increase your risk of infection, fatigue, and bleeding.
  • Effects on the nerves, called peripheral neuropathy. You may feel numbness or tingling in your hands and feet. It may be difficult for you to button your clothes, open jars, or walk normally. The effect on the nerves may get worse with additional doses of the drug. These effects get better in some people after the drug is stopped, but may not get better in some people.
  • Hair loss is usually complete scalp hair loss and can include loss of eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair. You may notice this a few days or weeks after treatment has begun. Usually hair loss is temporary; your hair should grow back when treatment is completed.
  • Diarrhea that may last for several days
  • Blood in the urine 

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Swelling, most often in your arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Flu-like symptoms: fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, and fatigue
  • Taste changes
  • Soreness of the mouth and throat. You may have red areas, white patches, or sores that are painful.
  • Allergic reactions to this drug occur in some patients. They usually happen very soon after the intravenous drug is given. You will be given medicine before you receive cabazitaxel to help prevent allergic reactions. Signs of allergic reaction are rash or itching, dizziness or lightheadedness, palpitations, and shortness of breath.

Sexual Problems and Reproduction Concerns

In both men and women, this drug may temporarily or permanently affect your ability to have children. This cannot be determined before your therapy. In men, this drug may interfere with your ability to make sperm, but it should not change your ability to have sexual relations. In women, menstrual bleeding may become irregular or stop while you are taking this drug. Do not assume that you cannot become pregnant if you do not have a menstrual period.

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used during your cancer treatment.
  • Speak with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm or egg banking. 
  • Genetic counseling is available to you to discuss the effect of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. In addition, a genetic counselor can review the potential risks of problems in the fetus due to this medication if an exposure during pregnancy has occurred.  
  • Breast feeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women are advised to discuss with their doctor the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug, because this drug may enter the breast milk and seriously harm a breast-feeding infant.
  • Women may experience signs of menopause like vaginal dryness or itching. Vaginal lubricants can be used to lessen vaginal dryness, itching, and pain during sexual relations.

Treating Side Effects

  • Drink 6 to 8 cups of fluids every day unless your doctor has told you to restrict your fluid intake due to another medical condition. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you vomit or have diarrhea, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated.
  • Speak with your nurse about obtaining a wig before you lose your hair. Also, call the American Cancer Society at 800-ACS-2345 to find out information  about the “ Look Good ... Feel Better” program close to where you live. It is a free program for women undergoing chemotherapy to learn about wigs, turbans, and scarves as well as makeup techniques and skin and nail care.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse what you can apply to a rash or other skin problem. Do not put anything on your rash or skin redness unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry.
  • Mouth care is very important. Your mouth care should consist of regular, gentle cleaning of your teeth or dentures and rinsing your mouth with a mixture of ½ teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water or 1/2 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in 8 ounces of water.
  • Avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol. Avoid alcohol and smoking because they can irritate your mouth and throat.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine to help prevent or lessen diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Take prescribed medicines to help relieve diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and joint and muscle pain.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of cabazitaxel with food. This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. Using these might unexpectedly affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's advice.

While you are receiving this drug by IV, tell your nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Rash or itching
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Feeling your heart beat rapidly (palpitations)

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Trouble breathing
  • Redness or tenderness along a vein
  • Uncontrolled nausea that prevents you from eating or drinking
  • Vomiting multiple times in one day
  • Diarrhea of 4 stools a day, or diarrhea with weakness or lightheadedness
  • Swelling of your arms, hands, legs or feet

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Signs of peripheral neuropathy: numbness, tingling, or decreased sensation in fingers or toes
  • Joint and muscle pain unrelieved by prescribed medication
  • Weight gain of more than 5 pounds in a week
  • Painful mouth or throat that makes it difficult to eat or drink

New September 2011

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