• Palifermin

    (pal ee fer' min)

    WHY is this medicine prescribed?

    Your doctor has ordered palifermin to help treat your illness. The drug is given by injection into a vein.
    You will probably be given three doses of palifermin before you receive your cancer chemotherapy treatment and three doses of palifermin after you receive your cancer chemotherapy treatment. You will not be given palifermin on the same day that you are given your cancer chemotherapy treatment. Palifermin must be given at least 24 hours before and at least 24 hours after chemotherapy.
    This medication is used to:
    • prevent swelling, irritation and sores on the lining of the mouth and throat that may be caused by chemotherapy used to treat cancers of the blood or bone marrow (spongy tissue inside of bones where blood cells are formed).
    • speed the healing of the lining of the mouth and throat if it is damaged by chemotherapy used to treat cancers of the blood or bone marrow.
    Palifermin is in a class of drugs known as human keratinocyte growth factors. It stops sores from forming in the lining of the mouth and throat and helps the lining of the mouth and throat heal faster if it is damaged.

    Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?

    Palifermin may not be safe to use to prevent and treat mouth sores in patients who have other types of cancer. Palfermin may cause some tumors to grow faster.
    This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

    What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

    Before taking palifermin,
    • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to palifermin, medications made from E. coli (a type of bacteria) proteins, or any other drugs. Ask your doctor if you are not sure if a medication you are allergic to is made from E. coli proteins.
    • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
    • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any medical condition, especially liver or kidney disease.
    • tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking palifermin, call your doctor.

    What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

    Palifermin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
    • thick tongue
    • change in color of tongue
    • change in ability to taste food
    • increased or decreased sensitivity to touch, especially in and around the mouth
    • burning or tingling, especially in and around the mouth
    • joint pain
    Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
    • rash
    • warm, red skin
    • itching
    • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
    • fever
    Palifermin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this drug.
    If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

    What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

    In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
    Symptoms of overdose may include:
    • thick tongue
    • change in color of tongue
    • change in ability to taste food
    • increased or decreased sensitivity to touch, especially in and around the mouth
    • burning or tingling, especially in and around the mouth
    • joint pain
    • rash
    • warm, red skin
    • itching
    • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
    • fever

    Brand Names

    • Kepivance®

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.