Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 26, 2022.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Solution
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Proteasome Inhibitor
Uses for carfilzomib
Carfilzomib injection is used alone to treat relapsed (cancer that has come back) or refractory (cancer that did not respond to treatment) multiple myeloma (a type of bone marrow cancer) in patients who have received 1 or more previous treatments.
Carfilzomib injection is also used together with other medicines (eg, dexamethasone, daratumumab and dexamethasone, lenalidomide and dexamethasone, and daratumumab and hyaluronidase-fihj and dexamethasone) to treat relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma in patients who have received 1 to 3 previous treatments.
Carfilzomib is an antineoplastic agent (cancer medicine). It interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed by the body.
Carfilzomib is to be given only by or under the supervision of your doctor.
Before using carfilzomib
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For carfilzomib, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to carfilzomib or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of carfilzomib injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of carfilzomib injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving carfilzomib.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving carfilzomib, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using carfilzomib with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Measles Virus Vaccine, Live
- Mumps Virus Vaccine, Live
- Rotavirus Vaccine, Live
- Rubella Virus Vaccine, Live
- Varicella Virus Vaccine, Live
- Zoster Vaccine, Live
Using carfilzomib with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Adenovirus Vaccine
- Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin Vaccine, Live
- Cholera Vaccine, Live
- Dengue Tetravalent Vaccine, Live
- Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live
- Poliovirus Vaccine, Live
- Smallpox Vaccine
- Typhoid Vaccine, Live
- Yellow Fever Vaccine
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of carfilzomib. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Angina (chest pain) or
- Blood clots or
- Congestive heart failure or
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the leg) or
- Heart attack, recent or
- Heart disease (eg, cardiomyopathy) or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
- Interstitial lung disease or
- Kidney disease (eg, patients on dialysis) or
- Liver disease or
- Lung or breathing problems or
- Nerve problems or
- Pneumonitis (lung inflammation) or
- Pulmonary edema (lung disease) or
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung) or
- Pulmonary hypertension (lung disease) or
- Thrombocytopenia (low platelets in the blood)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Dehydration or
- Electrolyte imbalance—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
- Herpes zoster—May cause infection to come back (reactivate).
Proper use of carfilzomib
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you carfilzomib in a hospital or cancer clinic. It is given through a needle placed into a vein. Carfilzomib must be given slowly, so the needle will have to stay in place for 10 to 30 minutes.
Carfilzomib needs to be given on a fixed schedule. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you are receiving carfilzomib. This may help prevent kidney problems and other unwanted effects.
You may also receive other medicines (eg, dexamethasone, antivirals, medicines to prevent blood clots) to help prevent unwanted reactions to the injection and decrease the risk of virus infection (eg, herpes zoster) reactivation.
Precautions while using carfilzomib
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that carfilzomib is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Receiving carfilzomib while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. It may also cause birth defects if the father is receiving it when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. If you are a woman who can get pregnant, your doctor may do tests to make sure you are not pregnant before starting treatment. Female patients should use an effective form of birth control during treatment and for at least 6 months after the last dose. Male patients who have female partners should use effective birth control during treatment and for at least 3 months after the last dose. If you think a pregnancy has occurred while receiving carfilzomib, tell your doctor right away.
Carfilzomib may cause serious heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure, heart attack). Tell your doctor right away if you have chest pain or tightness, decrease in the amount of urine, dilated neck veins, extreme fatigue, irregular heartbeat, swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs, trouble breathing, or weight gain while you are receiving carfilzomib.
Check with your doctor right away if you have a bloody urine, a decrease in frequency or amount of urine, an increase in blood pressure, increased thirst, loss of appetite, lower back or side pain, nausea, swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs, trouble breathing, unusual tiredness or weakness, vomiting, or weight gain. These could be symptoms of a serious kidney problem (eg, kidney failure).
Carfilzomib may cause a serious reaction called tumor lysis syndrome (TLS). Call your doctor right away if you have a change in how much or how often you urinate, rapid weight gain, muscle or joint pain, swelling of the feet or lower legs, or feel tired.
Serious lung or breathing problems may occur after you get a shot of carfilzomib into one of your veins. Call your doctor right away if have any changes in your breathing after you receive carfilzomib.
Your blood pressure might get too high while you are receiving carfilzomib. This may cause headaches, dizziness, or blurred vision. You might need to measure your blood pressure at home. If you think your blood pressure is too high, call your doctor right away.
Blood clots may occur while you are receiving carfilzomib. Tell your doctor right away if you have chest pain, dizziness or lightheadedness, fainting, fast heartbeat, pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or legs, or trouble breathing.
Carfilzomib may cause infusion-related reactions, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you start to have a fever, chills or shaking, dizziness, trouble breathing, itching or rash, lightheadedness or fainting, joint pain, muscle pain or stiffness, difficulty in moving, nausea, vomiting, or sweating while you are receiving carfilzomib.
Carfilzomib can lower the number of platelets in your blood, which are needed for blood clotting. This may cause serious bleeding problems. Check with your doctor right away if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
Tell your doctor right away if you have seizures, headache, confusion, vision problems, unusual drowsiness, tiredness, or weakness. These could be symptoms of a serious nervous system problem, called posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES).
Carfilzomib may increase your risk of developing infections, including a serious brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Call your doctor right away if you have back pain, blurred vision, confusion, dizziness drowsiness, fever, headache, seizures, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Carfilzomib may cause some people to become dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how carfilzomib affects you.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Carfilzomib side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- blood in the urine or stools
- blurred vision
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- chest pain or tightness
- decreased awareness or responsiveness
- decreased urine output
- difficult or labored breathing
- difficulty with moving
- fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
- loss of consciousness
- lower back or side pain
- muscle spasms (tetany) or twitching
- numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
- painful or difficult urination
- pale skin
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- pounding in the ears
- rapid weight gain
- severe sleepiness
- tingling of the hands or feet
- trouble breathing
- ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
- unsteadiness or awkwardness
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
- unusual weight gain or loss
- continuing ringing, buzzing, or other unexplained noise in the ears
- hearing loss
- muscle pain or cramps
- painful blisters on the trunk of the body
- weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Dark urine
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- light-colored stools
- stomach pain, continuing
- thickening of bronchial secretions
- yellow eyes or skin
Incidence not known
- Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- stomach pain
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Back pain
- body aches or pain
- bone pain
- dry mouth
- ear congestion
- flushed, dry skin
- fruit-like breath odor
- increased hunger
- increased thirst
- increased urination
- loss of appetite
- loss of voice
- metallic taste
- muscle weakness
- pain in the arms or legs
- runny or stuffy nose
- sore throat
- trouble sleeping
- weight loss
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Frequently asked questions
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More about carfilzomib
- Side effects
- Drug interactions
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Reviews (3)
- En español
- Drug class: proteasome inhibitors
- Other brands
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