Generic Name: Eribulin
Trade Name: Halaven®
For which conditions is this drug approved? Halaven is approved for metastatic breast cancer patients who have had at least two chemotherapy regimens for metastatic disease, including an anthracycline and a taxane. It is also indicated for patients with unresectable or metastatic liposarcoma who have received a prior regimen that includes an anthracycline.
What is the mechanism of action? Halaven is a chemotherapy drug classified as a non-taxane microtubule inhibitor. Microtubules are components of cells that provide structural framework that enables cells to divide and grow. Halaven produces its anti-cancer effects by causing abnormalities in the microtubule formations of the cells which inhibits the cells to replicate, thus ultimately resulting in cell death.
How is Halaven typically given (administered)? Halaven is given as in infusion into a vein.
What are the most common side effects of treatment with Halaven?
- Low white blood cells (neutropenia)
- Low red blood cells (anemia)
- Hair loss
- Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
- Abdominal pain
What are some of the less common side effects of Halaven?
- Muscle and joint pain
- Back pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Mouth sores
- Shortness of breath
- Bone pain
- Swelling in the limbs
- Muscle weakness
- Increased flow of tears
This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed here. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.
Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should check with their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.
What should patients be aware of after treatment with Halaven? Patients should contact their healthcare provider immediately if experiencing a fever of 100.4◦ F (38◦ C) or higher or having chills. This could be a possible sign of infection.
Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?
- Severe neutropenia (low white blood cells) is possible. Patients will receive complete blood counts before each dose of Halaven.
- Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy) is the most common toxicity leading to the discontinuation of Halaven. Patients will be monitored closely for signs of its existence.
- Patients should inform their physician if they are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a family in the near future. This drug may cause birth defects. It is important to use some kind of birth control while undergoing treatment. Also, patients may want to talk to their physician if they are considering having children in the future, since some drugs may cause fertility problems.
- Patients should check with their physician before starting any new drug or nutritional supplement.
- Patients with a heart rhythm disorder must receive additional monitoring. Those with this congenital heart condition must avoid Halaven.
What is a package insert?
A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug for healthcare providers and consumers. A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the specific drug. By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.
Important Limitations of Use
The information provided above on the drug you have selected is provided for your information only and is not a substitute for consultation with an appropriate medical doctor. We are providing this information solely as a courtesy and, as such, it is in no way a recommendation as to the safety, efficacy or appropriateness of any particular drug, regimen, dosing schedule for any particular cancer, condition, or patient nor is it in any way to be considered medical advice. Patients should discuss the appropriateness of a particular drug or chemotherapy regimen with their physician.
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