First, let's review some important information. Before starting HALAVEN treatment for metastatic breast cancer (mBC), your HCP will need to review your medical history to make sure it's safe for you to take. It's important that you be upfront about all your medical conditions. In particular, your HCP will need to know if you have liver or kidney problems, heart problems (including a condition called congenital long QT syndrome), or low potassium or magnesium levels in your blood.1 This information will be shared with the HCP administering your infusion.
The infusion itself is relatively quick, but a little advance planning is recommended to fit it into your busy life. First off, you'll want to make sure you consider the whole treatment cycle when choosing a start date. You wouldn't want a scheduling conflict to interfere with the second dose or the start of another cycle. Less obvious, but equally important, is to have a plan for the blood tests you'll need before receiving HALAVEN. Work with your care team to determine when to get the tests or if you need to travel to an off-site location for them.
The most common side effects of HALAVEN in adults with breast cancer include low white blood cell count (neutropenia), low red blood cell count (anemia), weakness or tiredness, hair loss (alopecia), nausea, and constipation.1 Before you start HALAVEN treatment, it's a good idea to talk to your HCP if you experience these side effects so you know what to do if they occur.
Another note about scheduling: as you're planning the treatment cycle, give yourself time to rest and recover. Some people may feel tired or weak after the infusion, so avoid making plans for after your appointment. You may want someone to drive you to and from your appointment.
Whether you need a ride across town, or to arrange travel and an overnight stay, resources are available to help people with mBC get to their appointments. The PAN Foundation is one of several organizations that offer transportation assistance for people who need to travel far distances to receive care.2
mBC treatment is a lot for anyone to go through. Along with the physical aspects of the infusion and the potential after effects, your mental and emotional well-being needs to be managed as well. You can find a long list of mBC community groups and other support groups here. These groups are wonderful resources, and you may be able to connect with others who have been through their treatment cycles and are willing to share their experiences.
With a little advance planning, you can be prepared for the HALAVEN infusion process. Just be sure to review everything with your HCP so you can be prepared to make informed decisions and plan the treatment cycle in a way that fits into your schedule.
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HALAVEN is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, and who have already received other types of anticancer medicines after the cancer has spread.
HALAVEN can cause serious side effects, including
Before you receive HALAVEN, tell your health care provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you
Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
What are the possible side effects of HALAVEN?
HALAVEN can cause changes in your heartbeat (called QT prolongation). This can cause irregular heartbeats. Your health care provider may do heart monitoring (electrocardiogram or ECG) or blood tests during your treatment with HALAVEN to check for heart problems.
The most common side effects of HALAVEN in adults with breast cancer include low white blood cell count (neutropenia), low red blood cell count (anemia), weakness or tiredness, hair loss (alopecia), nausea, and constipation.
Your health care provider will do blood tests before and during treatment while you are taking HALAVEN.
For more information about HALAVEN, please see full Prescribing Information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.