Elotuzumab

Other Names: Empliciti®

About this Drug:

Elotuzumab is used to treat cancer. It is given in the vein (IV).

Possible Side Effects

  • Bone marrow depression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This may raise your risk of infection, make you tired and weak (fatigue), and raise your risk of bleeding. 
  • Fever
  • tiredness
  • Cough
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Inflammation of the nasal passages and throat
  • Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea)
  • Constipation (unable to move bowels)
  • Effects on the nerves are called peripheral neuropathy. You may feel numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands and feet. It may be hard for you to button your clothes, open jars, or walk as usual. The effect on the nerves may get worse with more doses of the drug. These effects get better in some people after the drug is stopped but it does not get better in all people. 
  • Changes in your liver function
  • Blood sugar levels may change. If you have diabetes, changes may need to be made to your diabetes medication
  • Electrolyte changes

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 20% or greater in patients treated with elotuzumab. Not all possible side effects are included above. 

Treating Side Effects

  • Drink 6-8 cups of fluids each day unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack of water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help stop or lessen the loose bowel movements.
  • If you are not able to move your bowels, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicines that are available to help stop or lessen constipation.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help stop or lessen fever, headache, muscle and joint aches.
  • If you have numbness and tingling in your hands and feet, be careful when cooking, walking, and handling sharp objects and hot liquids.

Warnings and Precautions

  • While you are getting this drug in your vein (IV), you may have a reaction to the drug. Sometimes you may be given medication to stop or lessen these side effects. Your nurse will check you closely for these signs: fever or shaking chills, flushing, facial swelling, feeling dizzy, headache, trouble breathing, rash, itching, chest tightness, or chest pain. These reactions may happen after your infusion. If this happens, call 911 for emergency care.
  • Severe infections, including viral, bacterial, and fungal, which can be life-threatening
  • This drug may raise your risk of getting a second cancer
  • Changes in your liver function

Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team.

Important Information

  • If you are taking elotuzumab in combination with lenalidomide, do not donate blood during your treatment and for 4 weeks after your treatment.
  • For males only, if you are taking elotuzumab in combination with lenalidomide, do not donate sperm during your treatment because this drug is present in semen and may badly harm a baby. 
  • This drug may be present in the saliva, tears, sweat, urine, stool, vomit, semen, and vaginal secretions. Talk to your doctor and/or your nurse about the necessary precautions to take during this time. 

Treating Side Effects

  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day.
  • Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • To decrease infection, wash your hands regularly.
  • Avoid close contact with people who have a cold, the flu, or other infections.
  • Take your temperature as your doctor or nurse tells you, and whenever you feel like you may have a fever.
  • To help decrease bleeding, use a soft toothbrush. Check with your nurse before using dental floss. 
  • Be very careful when using knives or tools.
  • Use an electric shaver instead of a razor.
  • To help with decreased appetite, eat small, frequent meals.
  • Eat high caloric food such as pudding, ice cream, yogurt, and milkshakes.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicines that are available to help stop or lessen constipation and/or diarrhea. 
  • If you are not able to move your bowels, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories. 
  • Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended). 
  • If you have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body from losing too much fluid). 
  • If you get diarrhea, eat low-fiber foods that are high in protein and calories and avoid foods that can irritate your digestive tracts or lead to cramping. 
  • If you have diabetes, keep good control of your blood sugar level. Tell your nurse or your doctor if your glucose levels are higher or lower than normal. 
  • If you have numbness and tingling in your hands and feet, be careful when cooking, walking, and handling sharp objects and hot liquids. 
  • Infusion reactions may occur after your infusion. If this happens, call 911 for emergency care. 

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of elotuzumab with food. This drug may interact with other medications.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the prescription and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities 
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • You cough up yellow, green, or bloody mucus
  • Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) 4 times a day or loose bowel movements with lack of strength
    or a feeling of being dizzy
  • No bowel movement in 3 days or when you feel uncomfortable
  • Abnormal blood sugar
  • Unusual thirst, passing urine often, headache, sweating, shakiness, irritability
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain your hands and feet
  • Signs of possible liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very
    tired and weak, unusual itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • Signs of infusion reaction: fever or shaking chills, flushing, facial swelling, feeling dizzy, headache,
    trouble breathing, rash, itching, chest tightness, or chest pain.
  • If you think you may be pregnant or may have impregnated your partner

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: When elotuzumab is used in combination with lenalidomide, it can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Women of child- bearing potential should use 2 effective methods of birth control, one of which, must be a highly effective method of birth control, beginning 4 weeks before treatment starts, during your cancer treatment, including dose interruptions, and for at least 4 weeks after treatment. A highly effective method of birth control includes tubal ligation, intra-uterine device (IUD), hormonal (birth control pills, injections, patch and/or implants) or a partner’s vasectomy. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant.
  • Two negative pregnancy tests are required in in women of child-bearing potential prior to starting treatment.
  • You will need to have routine pregnancy tests while you are taking this drug.
  • Men with female partners of child-bearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment and for at least 4 weeks after your cancer treatment. You should always wear a condom even if you have undergone a successful vasectomy. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may have impregnated your partner. 
  • Breastfeeding warning: Women should not breast feed during treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breastfeeding baby. 
  • Fertility warning: Human fertility studies have not been done with this drug. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm or egg banking. 

Revised April 2018

This patient information was developed by Via Oncology, LLC © 2018. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have.

CLIENT acknowledges that the Via Pathways and Via Portal are information management tools only, and that Via Oncology, LLC has not represented the Via Pathways or Via Portal as having the ability to diagnose disease, prescribe treatment, or perform any other tasks that constitute the practice of medicine. The clinical information contained in the Via Pathways and Via Portal are intended as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the knowledge, expertise, skill, and judgment of physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals involved with patient care at CLIENT facilities.