Advanced Breast Cancer: Learn about treatment options.

Brentuximab

Generic Name: brentuximab (bren-TUX-i-mab)
Brand Name: Adcetris

A certain severe condition called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) has been reported with use of brentuximab. PML is often fatal. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you notice new or worsening symptoms, such as confusion; memory problems; difficulty talking or walking; changes in mood or behavior; or changes in thinking, eyesight, balance, or strength.


Brentuximab is used for:

Treating certain types of lymphoma. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Brentuximab is a monoclonal antibody. It works by killing cancer cells.

Do NOT use brentuximab if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in brentuximab
  • you are taking bleomycin

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using brentuximab:

Some medical conditions may interact with brentuximab. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney or liver problems
  • if you have a history of nerve problems (eg, nerve pain)
  • if you have a history of an infusion-related reaction to brentuximab

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with brentuximab. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Bleomycin because the risk of lung problems may be increased
  • Certain azole antifungals (eg, itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole), clarithromycin, nefazodone, protease inhibitors (eg, boceprevir, ritonavir), or telithromycin because they may increase the risk of brentuximab's side effects
  • Carbamazepine, fosphenytoin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, rifamycins (eg, rifampin), or St. John's wort because they may decrease brentuximab's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if brentuximab may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use brentuximab:

Use brentuximab as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Brentuximab is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
  • Do not shake brentuximab.
  • Do not use brentuximab if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of brentuximab, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use brentuximab.

Important safety information:

  • Brentuximab may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use brentuximab with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do NOT use more than the recommended dose, stop using brentuximab, or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Infusion-related reactions have occurred with the use of brentuximab. Your health care provider will monitor you for these reactions while you receive brentuximab. If you have experienced an infusion-related reaction before, you should receive certain other medicines (acetaminophen, an antihistamine, a corticosteroid) before you receive your dose of brentuximab. Contact your doctor right away if you experience breathing problems (eg, shortness of breath), chills, cough, fever, itching, nausea, or rash while you receive brentuximab or within 24 hours of the infusion. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Brentuximab may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Sometimes, serious and sometimes fatal infections have happened with brentuximab. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) has happened with brentuximab. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Brentuximab may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • A serious and possibly fatal condition called tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) has been reported in certain patients taking brentuximab. Contact your doctor right away if you develop symptoms, such as fast or irregular heartbeat; fainting; decreased urination; muscle weakness or cramps; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite; or sluggishness. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take brentuximab before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use brentuximab. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Brentuximab should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Brentuximab may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using brentuximab while you are pregnant. It is not known if brentuximab is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking brentuximab.

Possible side effects of brentuximab:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Anxiety; back pain; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; dry skin; hair loss; headache; joint pain; loss of appetite; mild weight loss; muscle spasms; nausea; night sweats; stomach pain; tiredness; trouble sleeping; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; coughing up blood; decreased or increased sense of touch or sensation; irregular heartbeat; new or worsening nerve problems (eg, burning, numbness, or tingling; muscle pain or weakness); severe or persistent tiredness or weakness; severe stomach or back pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); shortness of breath; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; symptoms of infection (eg, fever; chills; persistent sore throat or cough; increased, difficult, or painful urination); unusual bruising or bleeding.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of brentuximab:

Brentuximab is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using brentuximab at home, store brentuximab as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep brentuximab out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about brentuximab, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Brentuximab is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take brentuximab or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about brentuximab. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to brentuximab. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using brentuximab.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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