Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Abraxane

Descriptions


Paclitaxel protein-bound injection is used to treat metastatic breast cancer (cancer that has already spread) after other treatments have failed. It is used together with carboplatin, a cancer medicine, to treat advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer in patients who cannot receive radiation therapy or have surgery. Paclitaxel protein-bound is used together with gemcitabine, a cancer medicine, to treat metastatic pancreas cancer.

Paclitaxel belongs to the group of medicines called antineoplastics (cancer medicines). It interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed by the body. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by paclitaxel, other unwanted effects will also occur.

This medicine is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of a doctor.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, paclitaxel protein-bound is used in certain patients with the following medical condition:

  • Metastatic breast cancer, used alone for the treatment of breast cancer that has spread.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Powder for Suspension

Before Using

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 this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine 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.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of paclitaxel protein-bound injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of paclitaxel protein-bound injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted effects which may require caution in patients receiving this medicine.

Pregnancy

Information about this paclitaxel-protein-bound-intravenous-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters D Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.

Breastfeeding

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.

Drug Interactions

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 this medicine, 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 this medicine 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.

  • Rotavirus Vaccine, Live

Using this medicine 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.

  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Testosterone
  • Tretinoin

Other Interactions

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 this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Infection—May decrease body's ability to fight infection.
  • Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
  • Neutropenia (low white blood cells) or
  • Sensory neuropathy (tingling, numbness of arms, hands, legs, or feet)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Proper Use

You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

This medicine comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Men who are receiving this medicine should not father a child. This medicine can harm the unborn baby of your partner.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are receiving this medicine.

Paclitaxel can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, which will increase the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets in your blood, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, these are the precautions you can take to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:

  • If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection, or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or have painful or difficult urination.
  • Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in your urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
  • Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
  • Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects, such as a safety razor, fingernail clippers, or toenail clippers.
  • Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.

This medicine is made from donated human blood. Although the risk is low, some people have received viruses from human blood products. Human donors and donated blood are both tested for viruses before the medicine is prepared. Talk with your doctor if this concerns you.

Check with your doctor right away if you have burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. These could be symptoms of a condition called sensory neuropathy.

Lung or breathing problems may occur if you are receiving this medicine together with gemcitabine. Tell your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath, trouble breathing, or a persistent dry cough.

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.

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:

More common

  1. Black, tarry stools
  2. bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  3. blurred or double vision
  4. chest pain
  5. chills
  6. cough
  7. fever
  8. loss of taste
  9. lower back or side pain
  10. painful or difficult urination
  11. pale skin
  12. rapid weight gain
  13. sneezing
  14. sore mouth, tongue, or throat
  15. tightness in the chest
  16. tingling of the hands or feet
  17. troubled breathing with exertion
  18. ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  19. unusual bleeding or bruising
  20. unusual weight gain or loss
  21. unusual tiredness or weakness

Less common

  1. Anxiety
  2. bleeding
  3. blood in the urine or stools
  4. burning, tingling, numbness or pain in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  5. confusion
  6. difficulty with swallowing
  7. dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  8. fast, pounding, slow, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  9. general feeling of discomfort or illness
  10. inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles
  11. inability to speak
  12. pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves
  13. pinpoint red spots on the skin
  14. rapid, shallow breathing
  15. sensation of pins and needles
  16. severe, sudden headache
  17. skin itching, rash, or redness
  18. slurred or slow speech
  19. stabbing pain
  20. sudden loss of coordination
  21. sudden, severe weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
  22. sudden, unexplained shortness of breath
  23. sweating
  24. swelling of the face, throat, or tongue
  25. thickening of bronchial secretions
  26. trouble thinking or walking

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:

More common

  1. Cracked lips
  2. decreased appetite
  3. diarrhea
  4. difficulty with moving
  5. headache
  6. lack or loss of strength
  7. loss of hair
  8. muscle pain or stiffness
  9. nausea
  10. pain in the joints
  11. swelling
  12. vomiting

Less common

  1. Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, a 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

Rare

  1. Nail changes

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.