Elotuzumab (generic name)
Other Names: Empliciti™
About this Drug:
Elotuzumab is used to treat cancer. It is given intravenously (IV).
Possible Side Effects (More Common)
- Feeling tired
- Constipation (not able to move bowels)
- Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) that may last for a few days
- Flu-like symptoms: fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and fatigue (low energy, feeling weak).
- Cold-like symptoms: coughing, nasal congestion, and sore throat.
- Nausea and throwing up (vomiting). These symptoms may happen within a few hours after your treatment and may last up to 24 hours. Medicines are available to stop or lessen these side effects.
- Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
- Effects on the nerves are called peripheral neuropathy. You may feel numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands and feet. It may be hard for you to button your clothes, open jars, or walk as usual. The effect on the nerves may get worse with more doses of the drug. These effects get better in some people after the drug is stopped but it does not get better in all people.
- Bone marrow depression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This may raise your risk of infection, make you tired and weak (fatigue), and raise your risk of bleeding.
- Blood pressure and / or heart rate changes. Your doctor will check your blood pressure and heart rate as needed.
- Electrolyte changes. Your blood will be checked for electrolyte changes as needed.
- Changes in your liver function. Your doctor will check your liver function as needed
Possible Side Effects (Less Common)
- While you are getting this drug in your vein (IV), you may have a reaction to the drug. Your nurse will check you closely for these signs: fever or shaking chills, flushing, facial swelling, feeling dizzy, headache, trouble breathing, rash, itching, chest tightness, or chest pain. You will be given medicines to help stop or lessen these symptoms. These reactions may happen for 24 hours after your infusion. If this happens, call 911 for emergency care.
- Changes in your liver function. Your doctor will check your liver function as needed.
- This drug may raise your risk of getting a second cancer.
Treating Side Effects
- Drink 6-8 cups of fluids each day unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack of water in the body from losing too much fluid).
- Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help stop or lessen the loose bowel movements.
- If you are not able to move your bowels, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.
- Ask your doctor or nurse about medicines that are available to help stop or lessen constipation.
- Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help stop or lessen fever, headache, muscle and joint aches.
- If you have numbness and tingling in your hands and feet, be careful when cooking, walking, and handling sharp objects and hot liquids.
Food and Drug Interactions
There are no known interactions of elotuzumab with food. This drug may interact with other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medication 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.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) 4 times or loose bowel movements with lack of strength or a feeling of being dizzy
- Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Rash or itching
- Pain when passing urine
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking
- Signs of liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very tired and weak, unusual itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin
Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of the following symptoms occur:
- Decreased urine
- Blurred vision or other changes in eyesight
- Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
- Swelling of legs, ankles, or feet
- Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
- Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
- Headache that does not go away
- Extreme weakness that interferes with normal activities
- Pregnancy warning: It is not known if this drug may harm an unborn child. For this reason, be sure to talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while getting this drug. Genetic counseling is available for you to talk about the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. Also, a genetic counselor can look at the possible risk of problems in the unborn baby due to this medicine if an exposure happens during pregnancy.
- Breast feeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.
Updated January 2017