Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond
Generic Name(s): cabazitaxel
Cabazitaxel is the generic name for the trade name drug Jevtana®. In some cases,
health care professionals may use the trade name Jevtana® when referring to the
generic drug name cabazitaxel.
Jevtana is an anti-cancer ("antineoplastic" or "cytotoxic") chemotherapy drug.
This medication is classified as a "taxane derivitive" and an "anti-microtubule
agent." (For more detail, see "How Jevtana Works" below)
What Jevtana Is Used For:
- Jevtana is approved for treatment [in combination with prednisone] for treatment
of patients with castrate resistant metastatic prostate cancer previously treated
with a docetaxel-containing treatment regimen.
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this
same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.
How Jevtana Is Given:
- Jevtana is given through a vein (intravenously, IV)
- There is no pill form of Jevtana.
- You will take a corticosteroid pill, prednisone, twice a day, every day while being
treated with Jevtana.
- You will be given pre-medications about 30 minutes prior to each Jevtana infusion.
This is to decrease the risk of having a reaction to the Jevtana.
The amount of Jevtana that you will receive depends on many factors, including your
height and weight, your general health or other health problems, and the type of
cancer or condition you have. Your doctor will determine your exact dosage and schedule.
Important things to remember about the side effects of Jevtana:
- Most people will not experience all of the Jevtana side effects listed.
- Jevtana side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, duration,
- Jevtana side effects are often reversible and are likely to improve after therapy
- Jevtana side effects may be quite manageable. There are many options to minimize
or prevent the side effects of cabazitaxel.
- There is no relationship between the presence or severity of side effects and the
efficacy of the medication
The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for
patients taking Jevtana:
The following side effects are less common (occurring in 10-29%) side effects for
patients receiving Jevtana:
Infusion-related side effects (symptoms which may occur while the drug is going
into the vein) include:
- Allergic reactions (rash, flushing, fever, lowered blood pressure). This happens
rarely, usually occurs the first or second infusion. Premedication as described
above reduces the frequency of this reaction. You will be closely monitored
during the infusion for any signs of allergic reaction.
- Infusion site reactions: consist of darkening of the vein, redness of the skin,
swelling of the vein, or pain
Not all side effects are listed above. Side effects that are very rare --
occurring in less than about 10 percent of patients -- are not listed here. But
you should always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual
When to contact your doctor or health care provider:
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should
experience any of the following symptoms:
- Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher, chills (possible signs of infection)
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact
your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:
- Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication)
- Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
- Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools
- Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Significant changes in urination (decreased amounts of urine output)
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
- Before starting Jevtana treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any
other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins,
herbal remedies, etc.). Do not take aspirin, products containing aspirin unless
your doctor specifically permits this.
- Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor’s approval
while taking Jevtana.
- You should refrain from taking St. John's Wort.
- Avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit.
- Currently, Jevtana is approved for the treatment of castrate resistant metastatic
prostate cancer only (male population). However, there are no well-controlled studies
regarding Jevtana use in pregnant women. Jevtana may cause fetal harm if administered
during pregnancy. Pregnant women should avoid exposure to Jevtana.
- For both men and women: Use contraceptives, and do not conceive a child (get pregnant)
while taking Jevtana. Barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, are recommended.
- You may be at risk of infection so try to avoid crowds or people with colds, and
report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your health care provider.
- Wash your hands often.
- Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
- Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
- To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and
eat small, frequent meals.
- It is very important to take your prednisone pills as prescribed.
- Follow regimen of anti-diarrhea medication as prescribed by your health care professional.
- Eat foods that may help reduce diarrhea (see
managing side effects - diarrhea).
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided
completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
- Elderly patients may be at risk for more frequent of severe side effects.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition. (see eating well during chemotherapy)
- If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health
care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are
effective in managing such problems.
Monitoring and Testing:
You will be checked regularly by your doctor while you are taking Jevtana, to monitor
side effects and check your response to therapy. Periodic blood work will be obtained
to monitor your complete blood count (CBC) as well as the function of other organs
(such as your kidneys and liver) will also be ordered by your doctor.
How Jevtana Works:
Cancerous tumors are characterized by cell division, which is no longer controlled
as it is in normal tissue. "Normal" cells stop dividing when they come into
contact with similar cells, a mechanism known as contact inhibition. Cancerous
cells lose this ability. Cancer cells no longer have the normal checks and
balances in place that control and limit cell division.
The ability of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells depends on its ability to stop
cell division. Usually, the drugs work by damaging the RNA or DNA that tells
the cell how to copy itself in division. If the cells are unable to divide,
they die. The faster the cells are dividing, the more likely it is that chemotherapy
will kill the cells, causing the tumor to shrink.
Chemotherapy is most effective at killing cells that area rapidly dividing.
Unfortunately, chemotherapy does not know the difference between the cancerous cells
and the normal cells. The "normal" cells most commonly affected by chemotherapy
are the rapidly dividing cells in the body such as; the blood cells, the cells in
the mouth, stomach, bowel, and the hair follicles; resulting in low blood counts,
mouth sores, nausea, diarrhea, and/or hair loss. Different drugs may affect
different parts of the body.
Jevtana is a microtubule inhibitor. Microtubules are essential to cell division,
and taxanes, such as Jevtana, stabilize a particular type of protein in the microtubule,
thereby inhibiting the process of cell division. This prevention of cell/division/growth
ultimately results in cell death.
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional
about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained
in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute
for medical advice
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