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How Does It Work?

As mentioned previously, carfilzomib belongs to a group of medicines known as proteasome inhibitors. Proteasomes are proteins found inside healthy cells and cancerous cells. One of their actions is to break down abnormal or unneeded proteins. Proteasome inhibitors such as carfilzomib block the action of proteasomes and prevent them from breaking down proteins. As a result, proteins build up in cells, causing the cells to die.
Carfilzomib can kill both cancer cells and healthy cells, which is what causes many of the dangerous side effects. However, it has a greater effect on cells that rapidly multiply. Generally, cancer cells multiply more rapidly than healthy cells and are, therefore, more affected by treatment.

When and How to Use This Medicine

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with carfilzomib include the following:
  • This medication comes as a powder that is dissolved in liquid and given as an injection into a vein (an intravenous, or IV, injection). It is normally given once a day for two consecutive days each week.
  • After three weeks, you will receive a break in treatment when no doses are given.
  • Carfilzomib injections are normally given by a healthcare provider in a healthcare setting, such as a hospital or infusion clinic.
  • The actual dose is given over 2 to 10 minutes.
  • It is important to stay hydrated during treatment to help maintain adequate kidney function. Your healthcare provider may give you IV fluids before and after your doses. Ask your healthcare provider how much fluid you should consume each day.
  • For carfilzomib to work properly, it must be used as prescribed. This medication works best if taken on schedule. However, you may need to miss doses due to side effects. 
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Carfilzomib Drug Information

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