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Palifermin

Generic Name: palifermin (PAL ee FER min)
Brand Name: Kepivance

Medically reviewed on June 15, 2018

What is palifermin?

Palifermin is a manmade form of a human protein that affects growth of cells within the tissues lining your mouth and digestive tract (esophagus, stomach, and intestines).

Palifermin is used to help prevent or heal mouth sores and ulcers in people being treated with chemotherapy and stem cell treatment.

Palifermin is used in people receiving chemotherapy to treat blood cancers (Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, leukemia). palifermin is not a treatment for the cancer itself.

Palifermin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use palifermin if you are allergic to it.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use palifermin if you are allergic to it.

Palifermin may cause growth in tumors that are not related to a blood cancer. Talk to your doctor if you have a history of any type of tumor.

It is not known whether palifermin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether palifermin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using palifermin.

How is palifermin given?

Palifermin is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection before and after your chemotherapy treatment.

Your palifermin injections are timed to take place at certain intervals as part of your treatment. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about when to receive each injection.

Palifermin should not be given within 24 hours before or 24 hours after you receive your chemotherapy.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your palifermin injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Since palifermin is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while using palifermin?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Palifermin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights.

Common side effects may include:

  • fever;

  • swelling or redness of your skin;

  • itching or rash;

  • changes in your sense of taste or sense of touch;

  • unusual or unpleasant sensations in your mouth;

  • numbness in or around your mouth;

  • joint pain; or

  • discolored or thickened tongue.

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)

Palifermin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Mucositis:

60 mcg/kg IV (as a bolus) once a day, administered for 3 consecutive days before and 3 consecutive days after myelotoxic therapy

Comments:
-Prior to myelotoxic therapy: The third dose should be administered 24 to 48 hours prior to beginning the myelotoxic agent.
-Following myelotoxic therapy: The first dose should be administered on the day of hematopoietic stem cell infusion after the infusion is complete, AND at least 7 days after the most recent dose of this drug.

Uses:
-Decrease the incidence and duration of severe oral mucositis in patients with hematologic malignancies receiving myelotoxic therapy in the setting of autologous hematopoietic stem cell support
-Supportive care for preparative regiments predicted to result in greater than or equal to WHO Grade 3 mucositis in the majority of patients

What other drugs will affect palifermin?

Other drugs may interact with palifermin, 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.

Further information

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.

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

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