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 (IK-suh-BEH-pih-lone)A drug used to treat metastatic or locally advanced breast cancer that has not improved after treatment with certain other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.

Information about Ixabepilone

Ixabepilone is a semisynthetic epothilone analogue that acts to stabilize microtubules thereby preventing mitosis and causing growth arrest in cancer cells.  Ixabepilone is approved for use in refractory cases of advanced breast cancer.  Its use is associated with a low rate of serum enzyme elevation, but ixabepilone has not been linked to cases of clinically apparent liver injury with jaundice. 

Liver safety of Ixabepilone

Ixabepilone stops the growth of tumor cells by blocking cell division. It is a type of epothilone analog. Also called BMS-247550 and Ixempra.

Mechanism of action of Ixabepilone

Ixabepilone (ix" a bep' i lone) is semisynthetic analogue of epothilone B, epothilones being cytotoxic macrolides that cause cell growth arrest by binding to microtubules and preventing mitosis.  Ixabepilone is similar in activity to taxanes, but differs structurally and is not affected by taxane resistance.  Therapy with ixabepilone has been shown to prolong relapse-free as well as overall survival in women with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer that has not responded or has relapsed after standard therapies such as with taxanes, capecitabine and anthracyclines. 

FDA approval information for Ixabepilone

Ixabepilone was approved for use in the United States in 2007 and current indications are for locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer given as monotherapy or in combination with capecitabine after failure of other treatments

Dosage and administration for Ixabepilone

Ixabepilone is available in vials of 15 and 45 mg supplied with diluent under the brand name Ixempra.  The recommended starting dose is 40 mg/m2 intravenously [infused over 3 hours] every 3 weeks. 

Side effects of Ixabepilone

Common side effects include peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, muscle and joint pains, stomatitis, diarrhea, anorexia, weight loss, constipation, hair loss, hand-foot syndrome and myelosuppression.  Rare, but potentially serious side effects include severe peripheral neuropathy, neutropenia, hypersensitivity reactions and fetal toxicity.  Toxicity of ixabepilone is greater in patients with preexisting liver abnormalities which should trigger use of lower doses when given as monotherapy and avoidance of its use in combination with capecitabine.


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