About This Drug
Carfilzomib is used to treat cancer. It is given in the vein (IV).
Possible Side Effects (More Common)
- 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.
- Feeling short of breath
- Feeling dizzy
- Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet
- 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)
- Constipation (not able to move bowels)
- Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) that may last for a few days
- Muscle or joint pain or muscle spasms
- Some people have higher blood pressure and others have lower blood pressure than their normal blood pressure. This can make you feel dizzy or feel that your heart is racing. Your doctor will check your blood pressure as needed.
- Changes in your electrolytes and blood sugar levels. Your blood will be checked as needed.
- Back or chest wall pain
Possible Side Effects (Less Common)
- 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.
- This drug may affect how your kidneys work. Your kidney function will be checked as needed.
- Effects on the heart: Damage to the heart is rare but this drug can weaken the heart and lower heart function. Your heart function will be checked as needed. You may have trouble catching your breath, mainly during activities. You may also have trouble breathing while lying down, and have swelling in your ankles.
- Changes in your liver function. Your doctor will check your liver function as needed.
- Trouble sleeping
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. These reactions may happen for 24 hours after your infusion. If this happens, call 911 for emergency care.
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 water in the body from losing too much fluid).
- 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 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.
- If you have numbness and tingling in your hands and feet, be careful when cooking, walking, and handling sharp objects and hot liquids. If you are dizzy, get up slowly after sitting or lying.
Food and Drug Interactions
There are no known interactions of carfilzomib 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 taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might 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 help.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:
- Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking
- Throwing up more than 3 times in one day
- Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) more than 4 times a day or diarrhea with weakness or lightheadedness
- Feeling confused or agitated
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way (palpitations)
Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of these symptoms happen:
- Numbness, tingling, decreased feeling or weakness in fingers, toes, arms, or legs
- Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
- Pain or spasms that are not relieved by prescribed medicines.
- Swelling of legs, ankles, or feet.
- No bowel movement for 3 days or you feel uncomfortable
- 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.
- 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.
Revised November 2014