Class: Biologic agent
Generic Name: Plerixafor (Pler-IKS-uh-for) Injection
Trade Name: Mozobil®
How is this drug used? Plerixafor is FDA approved for the mobilization of stem cells to the circulating blood among patients with multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma who are to undergo an autologous stem cell transplant. Plerixafor is to be used in combination with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). It is important for patients to remember that physicians have the ability to prescribe medication for conditions other than those for which the drug has been approved by the FDA. Patients who have received a prescription of this drug for a condition other than which it is approved may wish to discuss this issue with their physician.
What is the mechanism of action? Plerixafor blocks agents produced in the body that cause stem cells to remain in the bone marrow. Plerixafor enables stem cells to be released into circulating blood so that adequate amounts may be collected prior to an autologous stem cell transplant.
How is plerixafor given (administered)? Plerixafor is administered as an injection under the skin (subcutaneously) four days following treatment with G-CSF. Plerixafor should be administered no sooner than 11 hours prior to collection of stem cells for up to four consecutive days. The dose depends on several factors, including the size and weight of the patient and the overall health of the patient.
How are patients monitored? Patients will usually have scheduled meetings with their healthcare provider while they are being treated with plerixafor. Typically, blood will be drawn to check levels of blood cells and to monitor functions of some organ systems, such as the kidneys or liver. Patients may also undergo physical examinations, scans, or other measures to assess side effects and response to therapy. Patients with impaired kidney function might be closely monitored as plerixafor may cause damage to the kidneys.
What are the common (occur in 30% or more of patients) side effects of treatment with plerixafor?
• Injection site reactions (redness, swelling, pain, bruising)
What are the less common (occur in 10% to 29% of patients) side effects of treatment with plerixafor?
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.
• Drink plenty of fluids. (Patients should ask their physician about the amount of liquid to consume during a day.)
• 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 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.
• It is important that patients inform their physician of any pre-existing conditions (chicken pox, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease, etc.) as they may worsen with this drug.
• 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 interfere with treatment.
• Patients should check with their physician before starting any new drug or nutritional supplement.
• Patients should inform their physician of any known drug or food allergies or any reactions to medications they have experienced in the past.
When should patients notify their physician?
• Signs of an allergic reaction—difficulty breathing, red patches on skin, swelling of the eye
• Reactions at the injection site
• Continued or severe diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, flatulence, or abdominal pain
• Fainting or lightheaded
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 © 2010 CancerConnect Last updated 07/10.
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