Description: Ixabepilone is an epothilone B analogue that binds to β-tubulin subunits on microtubules, stabilising and suppressing microtubule activity, thus arresting the cell cycle and inducing apoptosis.

This medication is a chemotherapy drug that slows or stops cancer cell growth to treat advanced breast cancer.

How to use ixabepilone intravenous

Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using ixabepilone. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

This medication is usually given by injection into a vein over 3 hours by a health care professional. It is usually given every 3 weeks. You will need blood tests (complete blood count) before each appointment. Your doctor will adjust the dosage and how often you receive the medication based on the blood tests.

Your doctor will direct you to take 2 types of antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine and ranitidine) by mouth 1 hour before your treatment to prevent or lessen a severe allergic reaction. Your doctor may give you another medication (a corticosteroid such as dexamethasone) and give ixabepilone over more than 3 hours if you had a severe reaction during your last treatment.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment.

Ixabepilone should not be used with capecitabine if blood tests show you have liver problems.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly if any of these effects persist or worsen:

  • pain/redness/swelling at the injection site
  • weakness
  • tiredness
  • muscle/joint pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness

Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.

This medication can lower your body’s ability to fight an infection.

Painful sores on the lips, mouth, and throat may occur.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • swollen hands/ankles/feet
  • fainting, pale skin
  • easy/unusual bruising/bleeding
  • sudden weight gain
  • signs of a loss of too much body water (e.g., decreased urination, increased thirst, dry mouth)

Ixabepilone can sometimes affect how your nerves work (peripheral neuropathy).

Treatment with ixabepilone may sometimes cause your hands/feet to develop a skin reaction called hand-foot syndrome (palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia), especially when this drug is given with capecitabine.

Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur:

  • fast/irregular heartbeat
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • bloody/black stools
  • vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • vision changes
  • seizures
  • sudden confusion

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


  • Allergic reaction to this medication
  • Patients with medical history of:
    • bleeding problems
    • diabetes
    • heart problems (e.g., chest pain, heart failure, heart attack)
    • liver problems
    • bone marrow problems (e.g., low white count, anemia)
    • nerve problem (peripheral neuropathy)
  • It may make you dizzy or drowsy due to its alcohol content
  • Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor
  • avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose
  • This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding

Consult your doctor regarding the precautions mentioned above.



Some products that may interact with this drug include:

  • drugs that cause a reaction with alcohol (e.g., disulfiram, metronidazole)
  • drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove ixabepilone from your body. Examples are:
    • azole antifungals such as itraconazole/ketoconazole
    • macrolide antibiotics such as clarithromycin/erythromycin
    • anti-HIV medications such as delavirdine/ritonavir/saquinavir
    • rifamycins including rifabutin
    • John’s wort
    • anti-seizure medicines such as carbamazepine/phenytoin

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness. Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness.


If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.


Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., complete blood count, liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose

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 to establish a new dosing schedule.


Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.



There are no brands containing this molecule

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