Generic Name: Eribulin mesylate
Trade Name: Halaven®
How is this drug used? Halaven is used for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer who have already undergone treatment with at least two prior chemotherapy regimens for advanced disease.
What is the mechanism of action? Halaven belongs to a group of drugs referred to as microtubule inhibitors. Halaven produces its anticancer effects by causing abnormalities in microtubule formation in cells. Microtubules are components of cells that provide a structural framework that enables cells to divide and grow. The abnormal microtubule formation caused by Halaven inhibits cell replication.
How is Halaven given (administered)? Halaven is given intravenously (into a vein).
How are patients monitored? Patients will usually have scheduled meetings with their healthcare provider while they are being treated with Halaven. Typically, blood will be drawn to check levels of blood cells and to monitor functions of some organ systems, such as the kidneys, liver, or heart. Patients may also undergo physical examinations, scans or other measures to assess side effects and response to therapy.
What are the most common side effects of treatment with Halaven?
- Low blood cell counts
- Weakness or fatigue
- Hair loss
- Pain, numbness, or tingling in your hands or feet (peripheral neuropathy)
Halaven can also cause changes in heartbeat in some patients.
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 can patients do to help alleviate or prevent discomfort and side effects?
- Pay careful attention to the physician’s instructions and inform the physician of any side effects.
- Maintain adequate rest and nutrition.
- If possible, avoid large crowds or people who are sick or not feeling well, as this drug may leave some patients susceptible to infection.
- Wash hands often to reduce the risk of infection.
- Eat small meals frequently to help alleviate nausea.
Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?
- Patients should inform their physician of any other medication they are taking (whether prescription or over-the-counter, including vitamins, herbs, etc.) as they may interact with treatment.
- Patients should inform their physician if they are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a family in the near future. Halaven may harm an unborn baby.
- Patients should inform their physician about all medical conditions, including liver, heart, or kidney problems.
- Patients should inform their physician about prior allergic reactions.
When should patients notify their physician?
Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects that bother you or don’t go away. Notify your healthcare provider immediately if you experience signs of an infection, such as fever, chills, cough, or pain or burning during urination. Also tell your doctor if you experience signs of neuropathy, such as numbness, tingling, or burning in your hands or feet.
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.
Copyright © 2016 CancerConnect Last updated 05/12.
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