Zaltrap®

Posted on August 23rd, 2012 by

Class: Biological therapy
Generic Name: Ziv-aflibercept
Trade Name: Zaltrap®

How is this drug used? Zaltrap is used in combination with FOLFIRI chemotherapy for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer that is resistant to, or has worsened after, oxaliplatin-containing chemotherapy.

What is the mechanism of action? Zaltrap is a type of drug known as an angiogenesis inhibitor. It slows cancer growth by reducing the blood supply to tumors.

How is Zaltrap given (administered)? Zaltrap is given as an intravenous (into a vein) infusion.

How are patients monitored? Patients will usually have scheduled meetings with their healthcare provider while they are being treated with Zaltrap. Blood and urine tests may be used to monitor the functions of some organ systems. Patients may have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis. Patients may also undergo physical examinations, scans or other measures to assess side effects and response to therapy.

What are the most common side effects of treatment with Zaltrap plus FOLFIRI?

  • Low white blood cell counts
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth sores
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Excess protein in the urine
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache

What are some of the other potential side effects of treatment with Zaltrap plus FOLFIRI?

  • Severe bleeding
  • Gastrointestinal perforations (holes in the stomach or intestine)
  • Problems with wound healing
  • Fistula formation (abnormal passage from one part of the body to another)
  • Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome
  • Arterial thromboembolic events

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.
  • If possible, avoid large crowds or people who are sick or not feeling well, as this drug may leave some patients susceptible to infection.
  • Wash hands often to reduce the risk of infection.

Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?

  • Patients should inform their physician about all medical conditions.
  • Patients should inform their physician of any other medication or supplement they are taking (whether prescription or over-the-counter).
  • Patients should inform their physician if they are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a family in the near future.
  • Patients should inform their physician about any recent or planned surgery (including tooth extractions)

When should patients notify their physician?

Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects that bother you or don’t go away. Also tell your doctor if you experience bleeding problems; lightheadedness; problems with wound healing; severe headache; severe diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain; or fever or other signs of infection.

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 © 2016 CancerConnect Last updated 08/12.

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Tags: Biological Therapy, Z

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