Carfilzomib, also known as Kyprolis, is an antineoplastic agent that is used to treat multiple myeloma- bone marrow cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. It is given to patients who have received at least two prior therapies which includes treatment with Velcade (bortezomib) and immunomodulatory therapy.

Carfilzomib injections are used to treat relapsed (cancer that has made a comeback) or refractory (cancer that did not respond to treatment previously received) multiple myeloma in patients who have taken previous treatment. It is often paired with other medicines like lenalidomide and dexamethasone that can treat patients with up to three previous therapies.

How Carfilzomib works

When a person gets diagnosed with multiple myeloma, their plasma cells are out of control. Carfilzomib is a chemotherapy drug that works by interfering with the growth of cancerous cells which are then destroyed by the body’s immune system. It works by inhibiting a complex enzyme that breaks down proteins in the body.

Carfilzomib is a tetrapeptide epoxyketone proteasome inhibitor that has:

  • Antiproliferative activity inhibiting the growth of cells.
  • Pro-apoptotic activity causing cells to self-destruct.

The Usage of Carfilzomib

Carfilzomib is given in a treatment cycle of 28 days. It is infused in the vein through an injection that is received on certain days of the cycle. The recommended Carfilzomib usage is 20 mg/m2/day for cycle 1 and the subsequent doses can be increased to 27 mg/m2/day. Based on the severity of the illness, your doctor may prescribe other medications to help prevent any potential infections.

The injection dose is given slowly so that the medicine is disseminated in the body over the course of 10 to 30 minutes until the needle is in place. Extra fluids should be consumed so that more urine is passed while receiving the medicine. This would prevent any kidney problems or unwanted effects and reactions.

The Side Effects of Carfilzomib

The Carfilzomib side effects include fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea, insomnia and high blood pressure. Some patients might notice severe side effects like low blood cell count, low platelet levels, respiratory tract infection, heart failure and shortness of breath.

Most side effects do not need medical attention and will disappear within a few days as your body gets accustomed to the medicine. However, patients need to be closely monitored for serious side effects and the treatment should be withheld with rising severity.

Patients are advised not to take Carfilzomib treatment while they are pregnant or breastfeeding. If a patient wishes to restart breastfeeding after receiving this treatment, they must consult their physician and follow their advice.