Velcade is a type of chemotherapy medication prescribed to treat multiple myeloma. It is also approved to treat mantle cell lymphoma after at least one other treatment has been unsuccessful. Side effects may include weakness, nausea, and diarrhea. This medication comes as an injection that is given intravenously (by IV) or just under the skin (subcutaneously).
What Is Velcade?
Velcade® (bortezomib) is a prescription chemotherapy medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as proteasome inhibitors. Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses medicines to stop or slow down the growth of cancer cells.
Velcade is approved to treat multiple myeloma (cancer of the plasma cells). It is also approved to treat mantle cell lymphoma (a cancer of the lymphatic system) in people who have already received at least one other treatment.
Velcade is made by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
How Does Velcade Work?
Velcade belongs to a group of medicines known as proteasome inhibitors. Proteasomes are proteins found inside both healthy and cancerous cells. One of their actions is to break down abnormal or unneeded proteins. Velcade blocks the action of proteasomes, preventing them from breaking down proteins. As a result, proteins accumulate within the cells, causing them to die.
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National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed March 20, 2012.
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