Halaven treats breast and soft tissue cancers. Your doctor will check your blood cell counts before you receive each dose of Halaven.
Halaven is a prescription medication used to treat breast and soft tissue cancers. Halaven belongs to a group of drugs called microtubule inhibitors, which stop the growth and spread of cancer cells.
This medication comes in an injectable form and is given into the vein (intravenously) by a healthcare provider on days 1 and 8 of a 21-day cycle.
Common side effects include weakness, tiredness, hair loss, and nausea.
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Uses of Halaven
Halaven is a prescription medicine used to treat people with breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, and who have already received certain types of anticancer medicines after their breast cancer has spread. Halaven is also used to treat liposarcoma (soft tissue cancer) that cannot be removed by surgery or is advanced (metastatic).
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Halaven Drug Class
Halaven is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Halaven
Halaven may cause serious side effects. See "Halaven Precautions" section.
The most common side effects of Halaven include:
- weakness or tiredness
- hair loss
Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of Halaven. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take other chemotherapy medicines as well as other QT-prolonging medications (a specific change in heart rhythm).
Your healthcare provider should do blood tests regularly to check your blood cell counts before you receive each dose of Halaven.
- Halaven can cause a decrease in white blood cell count (neutropenia). This can make you more likely to get serious infections that could lead to death. You may need treatment in the hospital with antibiotic medicines.
- Call your healthcare provider right away if you develop any of these symptoms of infection while you are receiving Halaven:
- fever (temperature above 100.5°F)
- burning or pain when you urinate.
- Halaven can cause numbness, tingling, or burning in your hands and feet (neuropathy). Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms.
- Halaven can cause changes in your heartbeat (called QTc prolongation). This can cause irregular heartbeats that may lead to death. Your healthcare provider will decide if you need heart monitoring (electrocardiogram or ECG), or blood tests during your treatment with Halaven to watch for this problem.
Halaven Food Interactions
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Halaven, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.
Before you receive Halaven, tell your healthcare provider if you:
- have liver or kidney problems
- have heart problems, including a problem called "congenital long QT syndrome"
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.
Halaven and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
Halaven falls into category D. There are no well done studies in pregnant women. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. This medication is expected to cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. However, in some serious situations, the benefit of using this medication may be greater than the risk of harm to the baby.
Halaven and Lactation
Tell your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. It is not known if Halaven passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will take Halaven or breastfeed. You should not do both.
- Halaven is injected directly into your vein.
- Halaven is given in "cycles" of treatment, with each cycle lasting 21 days.
- You will receive an injection 1 time each week for two weeks in a row (day 1 and day 8 of a treatment cycle).
- Your healthcare provider may need to decrease your dose or change how often you receive it, depending on your blood test results.
Receive this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:
- the condition being treated
- other medical conditions you have
- other medications you are taking
- how you respond to this medication
- your weight
- your height
- your age
- your liver function
The recommended dose is 1.4 mg/m2 injected over 2 to 5 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of a 21-day cycle.
Halaven is usually administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting making it unlikely for an overdose to occur. However, if an overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
Keep all medical and laboratory appointments.