Today I am due to have the fourth dose of Valcade part of my VCD chemotherapy regime. As yet I have not experienced any side-effects from this treatment, save for a slight rash at the injection point in my stomach. Long may this continue.
Even so there are some potential side-effects and so these are listed below. They vary from person to person and maybe mild or serious.
This term described nerve damage in the hands, feet, arms or legs, which causes numbness, tingling and increased sensitivity to pain. However, subcutaneous injection reduced the risk of this side-effect.
It is also a side effect of the Myeloma itself so this needs to be watched for.
Where necessary the Velcade treatment would need to be reduced or stopped or even discontinued.
- gentle massage
- warm baths
- hot / cold packs
- paying attention to posture
Low Blood Counts
Velcade may reduce blood cell counts (red, white and especially platelets).
Low platelet count will cause issues with blood clotting an increase the risk of bleeding. It would require a platelet transfusion.
Low red blood cell count will cause anaemia and fatigue and may require a blood transfusion or drugs.
Low white blood cell count makes you susceptible to infection and requires you to avoid crowded places. Drugs may be provided where necessary.
Blood counts are always taken when Velcade is applied and Velcade may be delayed until counts are improved.
Velcade can cause diarrhoea, constipation, nausea or vomiting.
These can be mitigated by ensuring good fluid intake and ensuring a good balanced diet.
A consequence of Valcade usually resolved once treatment is finished.
Low Blood Pressure
Velcade can cause a drop in blood pressure which can make you feel dizzy and lightheaded.
It can be alleviated by keeping well hydrated.
Valcade patients can develop a skin rash which might be itchy and need antihistamine treatments or steroid creams. Lowering or stopping the dose will be necessary in some cases.
Interactions with other substances
Alcohol intake should be limited because of it’s impact on dizziness and fatigue
Green Tea should be avoided as there is evidence that it blocks the action of Velcade.