Ixabepilone

Updated 
August 31, 2015

Ixabepiloneinfo-icon (Ixempra) is a microtubule inhibitor chemotherapyinfo-icon medicineinfo-icon used to treat metastatic and locally advanced breast cancer that grew despite treatment with other anti-cancer agents.

How Ixabepilone Works

Ixabepiloneinfo-icon stops the growth of cancer cells by targeting a proteininfo-icon called tubulin that helps cells multiply.

Who Gets Ixabepilone

Ixabepiloneinfo-icon is FDAinfo-icon approved to be used alone or with capecitabine (Xeloda) to treat locally advanced or metastaticinfo-icon breast cancer. It is used to treat cancers that have grown despite treatment with other chemotherapyinfo-icon, including anthracyclines and taxanes.

Ixabepilone may be used in all types of breast cancer, including triple-negative metastatic breast cancer.

How Ixabepilone Is Given

Ixabepiloneinfo-icon is given by veininfo-icon through an IV, either alone or with the chemotherapyinfo-icon medicineinfo-icon capecitabineinfo-icon, once every 3 weeks. Because ixabepilone can cause an allergic reaction, you will be given steroidinfo-icon medicines right before treatment to prevent a reaction.

You and your doctor will discuss how many cycles you will have.

Side Effects and Things to Remember

Common side effects include:

Other side effects include:

Your doctor will check how well your liver is working before and during treatment. If you have liver problems, you may not be able to take ixabepiloneinfo-icon with capecitabineinfo-icon.

Before starting ixabepilone, tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbal supplements and over-the- counter medicines. Also tell your providers about all your medical conditions including liver problems, heart problems, diabetes and neuropathyinfo-icon (numbness in your hands and feet).

Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are on ixabepilone. It can cause you to have too much of the medicineinfo-icon in your blood and lead to side effects.

You should avoid becoming pregnant while you are receiving ixabepilone. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant or may be pregnant while you are undergoing treatment.

Your doctor, pharmacistinfo-icon or nurseinfo-icon can help you manage your side effects. You can also go to our section on Side Effects for more information.

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