Brand name: Abraxane
Chemical name: Albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel
How it works: Taxanes interfere with the ability of cancer cells to divide.
Uses: Abraxane typically is used to treat advanced-stage breast cancer and usually is given:
- in combination with other chemotherapy medicines
- after other chemotherapy medicines given after surgery have stopped working
How it's given: Abraxane is given intravenously.
Additional information: The taxanes Taxol and Taxotere use solvents to dissolve paclitaxel, the main ingredient, so the medicine can enter the bloodstream. These solvents may make Taxol and Taxotere difficult to tolerate while being given. People usually take pre-medications to minimize reactions to the solvents. Instead of a solvent, the paclitaxel in Abraxane is suspended in albumin, a protein, which may make it easier to take without the need for pre-medication.
- low white blood cell count
- anemia (low red blood cell count)
- swelling (edema)
- hair loss
- neuropathy (nerve damage)
- muscle pain or joint pain
- irregular periods — this can include temporary cessation (usually resume after medication is completed) or permanent cessation of menstrual periods depending on your age and other factors
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