Generic Name: paclitaxel protein-bound (PAK li TAX el PRO teen-bound)
Brand Names: Abraxane
Medically reviewed on August 4, 2017.
What is Abraxane?
Abraxane (paclitaxel) is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Abraxane is sometimes given with other cancer medicines.
You should not receive Abraxane if you have a very low white blood cell count.
You may need frequent medical tests at your doctor's office to be sure Abraxane is not causing harmful effects. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
Abraxane can weaken your immune system. Your blood may need to be tested often.
Before taking this medicine
You should not receive Abraxane if you are allergic to paclitaxel, or if you have:
a low white blood cell count; or
severe liver disease.
To make sure Abraxane is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease, heart rhythm disorder; or
bone marrow suppression.
Do not use Abraxane if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy during treatment.
Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving this medicine, whether you are a man or a woman. Abraxane use by either parent may cause birth defects. Follow your doctor's instructions about how long to prevent pregnancy after your treatment ends.
It is not known whether paclitaxel protein-bound passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are receiving Abraxane.
How is Abraxane given?
Abraxane is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting.
Abraxane is usually given for breast cancer once every 3 weeks. For lung cancer or pancreatic cancer, this medicine is given in a 21-day or 28-day treatment cycle, and you may only need to receive the medicine during the first 1 to 2 weeks of each cycle. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when this medicine is injected.
Abraxane can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
Abraxane dosing information
Usual Adult Dose of Abraxane for Breast Cancer:
260 mg/m2 administered intravenously over 30 minutes every 3 weeks
Usual Adult Dose of Abraxane for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer:
100 mg/m2 administered as an intravenous infusion over 30 minutes on Days 1, 8, and 15 of each 21-day cycle. The recommended dose of carboplatin is target AUC of 6 mg*min/mL on Day 1 only of each 21-day cycle, beginning immediately after the completion of paclitaxel protein-bound administration.
The Calvert Formula for calculating carboplatin dosing is: Total carboplatin dose (mg) = (target AUC) x (GFR + 25) with GFR capped at 125 mL/min. For carboplatin target AUC of 6 mg*min/mL the resulting maximum carboplatin dose is 900 mg.
Usual Adult Dose of Abraxane for Pancreatic Cancer:
125 mg/m2 administered as an intravenous infusion over 30-40 minutes on Days 1, 8 and 15 of each 28-day cycle.
Administer gemcitabine immediately after paclitaxel protein-bound on Days 1, 8 and 15 of each 28-day cycle.
Approved indication: Metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas as first-line treatment, in combination with gemcitabine.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Abraxane 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 while using Abraxane?
Abraxane can be harmful if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If skin contact occurs, wash the area with soap and water or rinse the eyes thoroughly with plain water.
This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). 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. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's 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.
Abraxane side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to Abraxane: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in your hands or feet;
sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough, feeling short of breath;
low blood cell counts--fever, chills, flu-like symptoms, swollen gums, mouth sores, skin sores, rapid heart rate, pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, feeling light-headed;
signs of a blood clot in your leg--pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
dehydration symptoms--feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin; or
severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common Abraxane side effects may include:
dehydration, low blood cell counts, signs of infection;
pale skin, weakness, feeling tired;
swelling in your hands or feet;
muscle and joint pain;
abnormal liver function tests;
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; or
hair loss, mild rash.
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 Abraxane?
Other drugs may interact with paclitaxel protein-bound, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Abraxane only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.02.
More about Abraxane (paclitaxel protein-bound)
- Abraxane Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
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- Drug class: mitotic inhibitors