What is Velcade?
Therapeutic ClassificationsAntineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic ClassificationsProteasome Inhibitor
- Proper Use
- Before Using
- Breast Feeding
- Drug Interactions
- Other Interactions
- Other Medical Problems
Bortezomib is an antineoplastic agent (cancer medicine). 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 bortezomib, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Other effects, such as a skin rash, may not be serious but may cause concern. Some effects may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used.
This medicine is to be given only by or under the supervision of your doctor.
Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital or cancer treatment center. This medicine is given through a needle placed into one of your veins or as a shot under your skin (usually in the abdomen or thighs).
You may receive medicines to help prevent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Drink extra fluids while you are using this medicine to keep from getting dehydrated. This could also help you avoid feeling dizzy or lightheaded. You may also receive medicines (eg, dexamethasone, melphalan, prednisone, antivirals) to help prevent unwanted reactions to the injection and decrease the risk of virus infection (eg, herpes zoster) reactivation.
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:
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.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of bortezomib injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more sensitive to the effects of this medicine than younger adults.
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.
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.
- Measles Virus Vaccine, Live
- Mumps Virus Vaccine, Live
- Rotavirus Vaccine, Live
- Rubella Virus Vaccine, Live
- Varicella Virus Vaccine, Live
- Zoster 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.
- Adenovirus Vaccine
- Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin Vaccine, Live
- Cholera Vaccine, Live
- Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live
- Poliovirus Vaccine, Live
- Smallpox Vaccine
- St John's Wort
- Typhoid Vaccine
- Yellow Fever Vaccine
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
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 ProblemsTOP
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:
- Allergy to boron or
- Allergy to mannitol—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Congestive heart failure or
- Dehydration or
- Heart disease or
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
- Lung disease (eg, acute respiratory distress syndrome, lung infiltration, pneumonitis, pulmonary hypertension) or
- Peripheral neuropathy (nerve problem) or
- Syncope (fainting), history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Liver disease, moderate to severe—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
It is very important that your doctor check you at regular visits to make sure that 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. Men and women should use an effective form of birth control during treatment and for at least 2 months after the last dose to keep from getting pregnant. If you think a pregnancy has occurred while receiving this medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Tell your doctor right away if you are having burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. These could be symptoms of a condition, called peripheral neuropathy.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or even fainting may occur when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help lessen this problem. Also, lying down for a while may relieve dizziness or lightheadedness.
This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, drowsy, tired, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert.
This medicine may cause serious heart problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, or swelling of the feet, ankles, or legs while you are receiving this medicine.
Tell your doctor right away if you have a cough, trouble breathing, chest tightness, or any type of breathing problem with this medicine. These could be symptoms of a serious lung problem.
This medicine may increase your chance of having a brain condition, called posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). Check with your doctor right away if you start having headaches, seizures, extreme drowsiness, confusion, or problems with vision while you are receiving this medicine.
This medicine may cause nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea, so it is important to drink plenty of fluids. If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, contact your doctor. These could be symptoms of dehydration (not enough water in your body).
Bortezomib can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, 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 painful or difficult urination.
- Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the 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 or fingernail or toenail cutters.
- Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.
This medicine 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, muscle or joint pain, stiffness or swelling, lower back, side, or stomach pain, a rapid weight gain, swelling of the feet or lower legs, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
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.
If you are diabetic and you are taking an oral antidiabetic medicine, you should check your blood sugar level often and report any unusual changes to your doctor.
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 (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.