Generic Name: ixabepilone (IX ab EP i lone)
Brand Names: Ixempra
What is Ixempra?
Ixempra (ixabepilone) is used to treat advanced breast cancer.
Ixempra is usually given after other cancer medications have been tried without successful treatment.
Ixempra may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use Ixempra if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. You should not receive Ixempra if you are allergic to ixabepilone, or to a medication ingredient called Cremophor (synthetic castor oil). You may not be able to receive Ixempra if you have severe liver disease, or severely low platelets or white blood cell counts.
Before you receive Ixempra, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, heart disease, nerve problems, diabetes, bone marrow suppression, or a weak immune system.
Ixempra can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.
Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection, such as fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, or sores in your mouth and throat. Avoid drinking alcohol during your treatment with Ixempra.
Before receiving Ixempra
You should not receive Ixempra if you are allergic to ixabepilone, or to a medication ingredient called Cremophor (synthetic castor oil). You may not be able to receive Ixempra if you have severe liver disease, or severely low platelets or white blood cell counts.
To make sure you can safely receive Ixempra, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
nerve problems (especially in your hands or feet);
bone marrow suppression or weak immune system.
FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use Ixempra if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether ixabepilone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while receiving Ixempra.
See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
How is Ixempra given?
Ixempra is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Ixempra must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 3 hours to complete.
Ixempra is usually given every 3 weeks.
About 1 hour before you receive Ixempra, you may be given other medications to help prevent certain side effects.
Ixempra can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Ixempra injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid?
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Ixabepilone can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Patients and caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids.
Avoid drinking alcohol during your treatment with Ixempra.
Ixempra side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Ixempra: hives; warmth or tingly feeling; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Tell your caregivers at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
numbness, tingling, burning pain, discomfort, or loss of feeling anywhere in your body;
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
pain or burning when you urinate;
chest pain or heavy feeling; or
redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet.
Less serious Ixempra side effects include:
joint or muscle pain;
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
diarrhea or constipation; or
problems with your fingernails or toenails.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Ixempra?
Many drugs can interact with Ixempra. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:
dexamethasone (Cortastat, Dexasone, Solurex, DexPak);
isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
St. John's wort;
an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), rifampin (Rifater, Rifadin, Rifamate), rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate), rifapentine (Priftin), or telithromycin (Ketek);
antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), miconazole (Oravig), posaconazole (Noxafil), or voriconazole (Vfend);
a barbiturate such as butabarbital (Butisol), secobarbital (Seconal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), or phenobarbital (Solfoton);
heart or blood pressure medication such as nicardipine (Cardene) or quinidine (Quin-G);
the hepatitis C medications boceprevir (Victrelis) or telaprevir (Incivek);
HIV/AIDS medication such as atazanavir (Reyataz), delavirdine (Rescriptor), efavirenz (Sustiva, Atripla), etravirine (Intelence), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), nevirapine (Viramune), ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra), or saquinavir (Invirase);
medicines to treat narcolepsy, such as armodafinil (Nuvigil) or modafinil (Progivil); or
seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol), felbamate (Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), phenytoin (Dilantin), or primidone (Mysoline).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Ixempra. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More about Ixempra (ixabepilone)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Ixempra.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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