Olaratumab - injection
Olaratumab - injection
This medication is used to treat a certain type of cancer (soft tissue sarcoma). Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of treatment with olaratumab. In Europe, this medication is being withdrawn from the market due to lack of effectiveness in a clinical study. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.
This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional. It is given as directed by your doctor, usually on days 1 and 8 of each treatment cycle. Each injection is given slowly, usually over at least 60 minutes. The dosage is based on your weight and response to treatment.
Olaratumab may cause serious infusion reactions during or soon after treatment. Your doctor may prescribe other medications (such as diphenhydramine, dexamethasone) before each treatment to help prevent these side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of infusion reactions such as flushing, trouble breathing, fever, chills, or dizziness.
See also How to Use section.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, dry eyes, tiredness, muscle/joint pain, numbness/tingling, or loss of appetite may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Pain or sores in the mouth and throat may occur. Brush your teeth carefully/gently, avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, and rinse your mouth often with cool water mixed with baking soda or salt. It may also be best to eat soft, moist foods.
Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.
People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
This medication may lower your ability to fight infections. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills, cough).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
In the US -
Before receiving olaratumab, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
Olaratumab can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using olaratumab. Olaratumab may harm an unborn baby. Ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 3 months after stopping treatment. If you become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug and for 3 months after treatment. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as complete blood count, blood chemistry) should be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store vials in the refrigerator away from light and moisture. Do not freeze or shake. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised June 2019.
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