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Getting involved with your treatment

Questions for your healthcare team

At Takeda Oncology, we believe that being an active participant in your treatment plan helps you get more out of your doctors’ appointments. And that starts with asking questions. Lots of them.

Below are some suggestions to bring up at your next appointment. Feel free to add your own, and remember: In a subject as complicated as multiple myeloma, there is no such thing as a silly question.

We suggest you bring a notepad and take notes during your office visits.

Learn more about the treatment schedule of VELCADE.

Questions:

General questions

  • What are the goals of treatment?
  • These are the medications and supplements I am currently taking (be prepared with a list). Do these affect my treatment, and how?
  • Can you help me understand the differences in available multiple myeloma treatments?
  • How often is treatment given? For how long is treatment given? What ways are treatment given?
  • How effective is the treatment you’re recommending?
  • How will I know if my multiple myeloma is responding to treatment?
  • What does it mean if I achieve remission?
  • How often will I need to come into the office?
  • Are there patient support groups that you might recommend?
  • Can I make plans to travel?

Side effects

  • What are the side effects of treatment?
  • Are there signs or symptoms I should look out for?
  • Should I expect any new or worsening symptoms at this point in my treatment?
  • What should I do if I experience any side effects? How can they be managed?

Lab work and tests

  • What typical tests and scans will I need?
  • How often do I need them?
  • What tests/results should I keep track of?
  • Can you explain the results of my tests?

Don’t hesitate to ask about other tests you may be curious about.

VELCADE Reimbursement Assistance
Program (VRAP)

VRAP is a support program of Takeda
Oncology Here2AssistTM

From finding financial assistance to understanding your disease, Takeda Oncology Here2Assist can provide the information you need throughout your treatment. Our case managers are your connection to personalized support.

To learn more about Takeda Oncology Here2Assist,
call to speak with a case manager at

1-844-817-6468, Option 2
or visit www.Here2Assist.com.

Let’s Talk. We’re available Monday-Friday, 8AM-8PM ET.

Along with your healthcare team, these tools can help you in your treatment

Downloadable resources

Takeda Oncology Lab Test Tracker

A complete guide to standard tests and reference ranges with a chart for tracking lab test results

Download or Print

Doctor Discussion Guide

Questions to assist you at healthcare visits

Download or Print

Multiple Myeloma Franchise Brochure

A brochure that details the history and leadership of Takeda Oncology in multiple myeloma research and therapeutic developments.

Download or Print

Starting VELCADE Info

Some helpful information for new patients starting on VELCADE.

Download or Print

Online resources

These online resources can provide you with more information about multiple myeloma and additional information that may help address day-to-day concerns associated with your treatment.

Takeda Oncology is not affiliated with these organizations. By listing these resources, Takeda Oncology is not endorsing any particular service or group and we are not responsible for the content of these sites or services. They are provided here for informational purposes and are not meant to replace your healthcare provider’s medical advice.

Multiple Myeloma Events

A great way to learn, meet others, and find support

Sign up for online and in-person events where you can listen to leading medical experts discuss multiple myeloma treatment options, have your questions answered, and connect with a community of people affected by multiple myeloma.

Register for events

What is VELCADE used for?

VELCADE (bortezomib) is approved for the treatment of adults with multiple myeloma (a cancer of the plasma cells). VELCADE is also approved for the treatment of adults with mantle cell lymphoma (a cancer of the lymph nodes).

Indications

What is VELCADE?

VELCADE is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with multiple myeloma (a cancer of the plasma cells). VELCADE is also a prescription medicine used to treat adults with mantle cell lymphoma (a cancer of the lymph nodes).

It is not known if VELCADE is safe and effective in children.

Important Safety Information for VELCADE® (bortezomib) for Injection

What is the most important information I should know about VELCADE?

  • You should not receive VELCADE if you are allergic to bortezomib, boron, or mannitol.
  • VELCADE must not be administered into your spinal fluid (intrathecally) because of possible serious side effects that can lead to death.

What are the possible side effects of VELCADE?

VELCADE can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Nerve problems (peripheral neuropathy). VELCADE can cause damage to the nerves, a condition called peripheral neuropathy. Tell your healthcare provider if you get any new or worsening symptoms, including: muscle weakness, tingling, burning, pain, and loss of feeling in your hands and feet, any of which can be severe. Your doctor may change the dose and/or schedule of VELCADE or stop it altogether. If you have peripheral neuropathy before starting VELCADE, your doctor could consider giving you VELCADE subcutaneously.
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension). VELCADE can cause a drop in blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you have low blood pressure, feel dizzy, or feel as though you might faint. If you are taking drugs that lower blood pressure, your medications might need to be adjusted. If you are not drinking enough liquids, your doctor may need to administer IV fluids.
  • Heart problems. Treatment with VELCADE can cause or worsen heart rhythm problems and heart failure. Your doctor may closely monitor you if you have, or are at risk for, heart disease. Tell your doctor if you experience chest pressure or pain, palpitations, swelling of your ankles or feet, or shortness of breath.
  • Lung problems. There have been reports of lung disorders in people receiving VELCADE. Some of these events have been fatal. Tell your doctor if you experience any cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, or difficulty breathing.
  • Brain swelling (Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome—PRES). There have been reports of a rare, reversible condition involving the brain, called PRES, in people treated with VELCADE. People with PRES can have seizures, high blood pressure, headaches, tiredness, confusion, blindness, or other vision problems. Treatment with VELCADE should be stopped in cases of PRES. It is not known whether restarting VELCADE therapy in patients previously experiencing this complication is safe.
  • Stomach and intestinal (gastrointestinal) problems. VELCADE treatment can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend IV fluids and/or medications.
  • Low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia). VELCADE can cause low levels of platelets (clot-forming cells). Your doctor may recommend a platelet transfusion or other supportive care. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any signs of low platelet counts, including bleeding and easy bruising.
  • Lowered white blood cells (neutropenia). VELCADE can cause low levels of neutrophils which are a type of white blood cell that help to fight infections. If your white blood cells become low, you can be at higher risk for infections. Tell your doctor if you develop a fever or believe you have an infection. You will have regular blood tests to check your cell counts during your treatment with VELCADE. If the number of these cells is very low, your doctor may change the dose and/or schedule of VELCADE.
  • Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS). TLS is caused by a fast breakdown of cancer cells. TLS can cause you to have kidney failure and the need for dialysis treatment and/or an abnormal heartbeat. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to check for TLS.
  • Liver problems. If you have liver problems, it can be harder for your body to get rid of VELCADE. VELCADE has caused sudden liver failure in people who were taking many medications or had other serious medical conditions. Symptoms of liver problems include a yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin (jaundice) and pain in your right upper stomach-area. Your doctor will closely monitor you if you have liver disease. It is not known whether restarting VELCADE therapy in patients previously experiencing this complication is safe.
  • Hematologic disease (Thrombotic Microangiopathy, TMA). VELCADE can lead to the formation of blood clots in small blood vessels. These clots can result in low platelets, kidney damage, confusion, and an increased risk of bleeding, and may lead to death. Tell your doctor if you develop pinpoint-sized purple dots (petechiae), larger bruises, or if you see blood in your urine. Your doctor may stop treatment with VELCADE. It is not known whether restarting VELCADE therapy in patients previously experiencing this complication is safe.

The most commonly reported side effects in clinical studies include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Low platelets (thrombocytopenia)
  • Decreased number of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell (neutropenia)
  • Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)
  • Fatigue
  • Nerve pain (neuralgia)
  • Low red blood cells (anemia)
  • Low white blood cells (leukopenia)
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased number of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell (lymphopenia)
  • Rash
  • Fever (pyrexia)
  • Lack of appetite (anorexia)

These are not all of the possible side effects with VELCADE. It is important to always contact your doctor if you experience any side effects while on VELCADE. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Before you take VELCADE, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have liver disease or kidney disease. If you are on dialysis, your doctor will administer VELCADE after the dialysis procedure.
  • are taking medication for diabetes. VELCADE can affect your blood glucose levels. Your doctor may require close monitoring of your blood glucose levels and change the dose of your diabetes medicine while you are being treated with VELCADE.
  • develop a rash of any type or have skin pain while receiving VELCADE.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. VELCADE can harm your unborn baby.
    Females who are able to become pregnant:
    • Your healthcare provider will determine whether or not you are pregnant before you start treatment with VELCADE.
    • Females who are able to become pregnant must use effective birth control during treatment and for seven months after your last dose of VELCADE.
    Males with females partners who are able to become pregnant:
    • Males with female partners of reproductive potential must use effective contraception during treatment with VELCADE and for four months following the last dose of VELCADE.
  • Tell your healthcare provider right away if you or your partner become pregnant while you are receiving VELCADE or within seven months following the last dose.
  • VELCADE may have an effect on either male or female fertility.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if VELCADE passes into breast milk, or if it affects an infant who is breastfed, or breast milk production. Do not breastfeed during treatment with VELCADE and for two months after your last dose of VELCADE.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. VELCADE and other medicines may affect each other. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new medicines during treatment with VELCADE.

What should I avoid while taking VELCADE?

VELCADE may cause fatigue, dizziness, fainting (syncope), or lightheadedness when you sit or stand up. You should not drive or operate machinery if you experience any of these symptoms.

How is VELCADE administered?

VELCADE is prescribed by a doctor experienced in the use of medications to treat cancer. It is administered by a healthcare professional as an injection into your vein (intravenously, or IV) or under your skin (subcutaneously, or SC).