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Generic Name: ixabepilone (IX-ab-EP-i-lone)
Brand Name: Ixempra

Do not take Ixempra if you also take capecitabine and you have high liver enzyme levels. It may increase your risk of toxicity and death caused by low white blood cell levels. Tell your doctor before you use Ixempra if you have liver problems.

Ixempra is used for:

Treating breast cancer. It may be used alone or with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Ixempra is a microtubule inhibitor. It works by blocking cancer cell growth and reproduction.

Do NOT use Ixempra if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Ixempra or to products that contain Cremophor EL or castor oil
  • you have low white blood cell or platelet levels
  • you have high liver enzyme levels and you also take capecitabine
  • you are taking certain cephalosporins (eg, cefotetan), disulfiram, or metronidazole

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

Before using Ixempra:

Some medical conditions may interact with Ixempra. 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 a history of heart problems (eg, irregular heartbeat, a heart attack), diabetes, liver problems (eg, high liver enzyme levels), nerve problems, or bone marrow problems
  • if you have an infection or blood problems (eg, low white blood cell or platelet levels)

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

  • Certain cephalosporins (eg, cefotetan), disulfiram, furazolidone, metronidazole, or sulfonylureas (eg, glyburide) because a reaction, including flushing, headache, fast or irregular heartbeat, difficult or fast breathing, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness, may occur
  • Azole antifungals (eg, fluconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole), delavirdine, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, amprenavir, atazanavir, ritonavir), macrolide antibiotics (eg, clarithromycin, erythromycin), nefazodone, telithromycin, trazodone, or verapamil because they may increase the risk of Ixempra's side effects
  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), carbamazepine, dexamethasone, efavirenz, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), rifabutin, rifampin, or St. John's wort because they may decrease Ixempra's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Ixempra 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 Ixempra:

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

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Ixempra. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Ixempra is usually given once every 3 weeks. It is given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Each treatment will take about 3 hours.
  • You will receive other medicines about 1 hour before each treatment with Ixempra to decrease the chance of an allergic reaction. Discuss any questions with your doctor.
  • If vomiting or diarrhea occurs, you will need to take care not to become dehydrated. Contact your doctor for instructions.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using Ixempra.
  • If you miss a dose of Ixempra, contact your doctor right away.

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

Important safety information:

  • Ixempra may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Ixempra with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Ixempra has alcohol in it and may interact with other medicines (eg, certain cephalosporins, disulfiram, furazolidone, metronidazole, sulfonylureas). Alcohol in drinks or other medicines may increase the effects of Ixempra. Before you start any new medicine, check the label to see if it has alcohol in it too. If it does or if you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Ixempra may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. 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.
  • Ixempra 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.
  • Check with your doctor before you receive any vaccine while you are using Ixempra.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Ixempra before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Women who are able to become pregnant should use an effective form of birth control (eg, condoms) while using Ixempra. Ask your doctor any questions you may have about effective birth control.
  • Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts and liver function, may be performed while you use Ixempra. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Ixempra with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Ixempra should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Ixempra has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you are using it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Ixempra while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using Ixempra.

Possible side effects of Ixempra:

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:

Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; fingernail or toenail changes; hair loss; headache; loss of appetite; mild fever; mild joint or muscle pain; mouth sores; nausea; stomach pain or upset; taste changes; tiredness or weakness; trouble sleeping; vomiting.

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

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; flushing; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue); chest pain or tightness; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; numbness, tingling, or burning of the hands or feet; pain, swelling, redness, or blistering at the injection site; redness, tenderness, or dryness of the palms of hands or soles of feet; severe or persistent dizziness; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; severe tiredness or weakness; shortness of breath; signs of an infection (eg, fever, chills, cough, sore throat, burning or painful urination); swelling of the arms, hands, legs, or feet; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual weight gain.

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. Symptoms may include fatigue; loss of appetite; muscle pain or aches; severe burning, numbness, or tingling of the arms, hands, legs, or feet; severe diarrhea, nausea, or stomach pain; swelling or soreness of the mouth or tongue.

Proper storage of Ixempra:

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

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Ixempra, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Ixempra 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 Ixempra 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 Ixempra. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Ixempra. 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 Ixempra.

Issue Date: June 3, 2015

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.