Breast Cancer Home > Abraxane Warnings and Precautions

Prior to starting treatment with Abraxane, warnings and precautions for the drug should be discussed with your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Before taking the medication, let your healthcare provider know if you have any allergies, a history of low white blood cell levels, or any infection. You should not take Abraxane if you are allergic to any components of the medicine or have a low neutrophil count before starting Abraxane.

Abraxane: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Abraxane® (protein-bound paclitaxel) if you have:
  • A history of low levels of white blood cells in the blood (known medically as neutropenia)
  • Any infection
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Abraxane

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Abraxane include the following:
  • Abraxane can decrease the bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells. This can result in anemia and other serious conditions. Because your immune system depends on certain blood cells, you may be more susceptible to infections while taking Abraxane (see Chemotherapy and Infections). You may also be at a higher risk for bleeding (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy). You will need regular blood tests to make sure your blood counts are not too low.
  • Abraxane contains albumin, which is obtained from human blood. Although it has never happened before, it is possible that Abraxane could transmit viral diseases. It is also possible that the medication could transmit a fatal infectious disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The chance of such infections from Abraxane is extremely small.
  • Abraxane can cause nerve problems, including nerve pain or unusual sensations of burning or tingling (see Nerve and Muscle Problems During Chemotherapy).
  • Abraxane can interact with other medications (see Abraxane Drug Interactions).
  • Abraxane is considered a pregnancy Category D medication. This means that it is probably not safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug during pregnancy (see Abraxane and Pregnancy). Also, men taking Abraxane should use adequate birth control methods, as they should not father children while taking Abraxane.
  • It is not known if Abraxane passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Abraxane and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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