Eribulin mesylate (Halaven®)
About This Drug
Eribulin is used to treat cancer. It is given in the vein (IV).
Possible Side Effects
- A decrease in the number of white blood cells and red blood cells. This may raise your risk of infection and make you tired and weak (fatigue).
- Constipation (unable to move bowels)
- Pain in your abdomen
- Tiredness and weakness
- Electrolyte changes
- Changes in your liver function
- 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.
- Hair loss. Hair loss is often temporary, although with certain medicine, hair loss can sometimes be permanent. Hair loss may happen suddenly or gradually. If you lose hair, you may lose it from your head, face, armpits, pubic area, chest, and/or legs. You may also notice your hair getting thin.
Note: Each of the side effects above was diagnosed in 25% or greater of patients treated with eribulin. Not all possible side effects are included above.
Warnings and Precautions
- Severe decrease in the number of white blood cells, which can be life-threatening
- Severe peripheral neuropathy.
- Abnormal heart beat.
Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team
- 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 the risk of 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.
- If you throw up, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack of water in the body from losing too much fluid).
- To help with nausea and vomiting, eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals a day. Choose foods and drinks that are at room temperature. Ask your nurse or doctor about other helpful tips and medicine that is available to help stop or lessen these symptoms.
- Ask your doctor or nurse about medicines that are available to help stop or lessen constipation.
- If you are not able to move your bowels, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.
- If you have numbness and tingling in your hands and feet, be careful when cooking, walking, and handling sharp objects and hot liquids.
- To help with hair loss, wash with a mild shampoo and avoid washing your hair every day.
- Avoid rubbing your scalp, pat your hair or scalp dry.
- Avoid coloring your hair.
- Limit your use of hair spray, electric curlers, blow dryers, and curling irons.
- If you are interested in getting a wig, talk to your nurse. You can also call the American Cancer Society at 800-ACS-2345 to find out information about the “Look Good, Feel Better” program close to where you live. It is a free program where women getting chemotherapy can learn about wigs, turbans and scarves as well as makeup techniques and skin and nail care.
- Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended).
- Keeping your pain under control is important to your well-being. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing pain.
Food and Drug Interactions
- There are no known interactions of eribulin mesylate with food.
- This drug may interact with other medicines. 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. Also, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or dietary supplements to make sure that there are no interactions.
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 100.4 F (38 C) or higher
- Tiredness that interferes with your daily activities
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way (palpitations)
- Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking and/or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
- Throwing up more than 3 times a day
- No bowel movement in 3 days or when you feel uncomfortable
- Pain in your abdomen that does not go away
- 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
- Numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands and feet
- If you think you may be pregnant or may have impregnated your partner
- Pregnancy warning: This drug can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Women of childbearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment and use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment and for 3.5 months after your cancer treatment. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant or may have impregnated your partner.
- Breastfeeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should not breastfeed during treatment and for 2 weeks after treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breastfeeding baby.
- Fertility warning: In men, this drug may affect your ability to have children in the future. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm banking.
Revised March 2019
This patient information was developed by Via Oncology, LLC © 2019. 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.