What is Trabectedin?

Trabectedin is an anti-cancer medication prescribed to treat Soft tissue sarcoma which is also called as liposarcoma. This medication is administered by medical professional only as it is available in injection form and is advised to use under medical supervision. A close monitoring of blood cell count and kidney functioning is required while under this medication.

Type of drug

Trabectedin belongs to class of medicine called alkylating agent. It is an anti-cancer medication.

Use in brief

Trabectedin is prescribed to use in the treatment of Soft tissue cancer (cancer that is caused to fat cells).


Trabectedin itself is an active ingredient in branded medicine like Trabec and Yondelis.


Trabectedin  is indicated for treatment of advanced soft tissue sarcoma in patients refractory to or unsuitable to receive anthracycline or ifosfamide chemotherapy.

How does Trabectedin work?

Trabectedin basically belongs to anti-cancer type of drugs called alkylating agent and works by stopping the multiplication of cancer cells by binding to the DNA of cancer cells and damaging it further.

Read about Prostate cancer medication

How to Take Trabectedin?

Form of medicine – Trabectedin medicine is available in the form of injection.

When and How to use

This medicine is administered by medical professional. Follow the instructions as mentioned in the prescription.

Common Dosage:

The recommended dose is 1.5 mg/m2 administered as an intravenous infusion over 24 hours through a central venous line every 21 days (3 weeks). Administer dexamethasone 20 mg intravenously 30 minutes prior to each dose.

Permanently  discontinue Trabectedin for: Persistent adverse reactions requiring a delay in dosing of more than 3 weeks, adverse reactions requiring dose reduction following Trabectedin administered at 1.0 mg/m2 and Severe Liver dysfunction.

Possibility of missing or overdosage is rare as the medicine is given by trained medical professionals like your doctor or nurse in a hospital environment.

When to Avoid Trabectedin?

Trabectedin is not advised to use in some health conditions such as:

  • Allergic reaction towards the Trabectedin medication
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Not advised to use in children

Advised to use with precautions and medical supervision in below mentioned health conditions

  • Cardiac disorders
  • Liver Impairment
  • Kidney Disease
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  •  If trabectedin leaks into the tissues around your infusion site, it can cause damage and death of tissue cells around the infusion site.
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Neutropenic Sepsis

Side-effects of Trabectedin

Trabectedin may possibly show some side effects in some patients. It is advised to consult your doctor if any of such side effects are noticed and if they are prolonged. Below mentioned are some possible side effects by Trabectedin. It may show side effects that are not mentioned here in this list.

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Increased liver enzymes
  • Low blood platelets
  • Increased creatine phosphokinase level in blood
  • Decreased white blood cell (neutrophils) count
  • Decreased appetite
  • Constipation.

Effects  on organs:

This medicine may possibly show adverse effects like bonemarrow suppression (may result in decreased WBC and platelet count), Capillary Leak Syndrome, Injection site reactions. Also may show adverse effects on organs like heart, kidney, and liver.  It is advised to consult the doctor and share detailed information about the current health condition so that the doctor can alter the dosage depending on the patient’s health condition.

Reported Allergic Reactions?

It is not recommended in patients who have known allergic reactions towards Trabectedin. This medicine has to be administered through central  venous line. Injection site reactions can possibly occur if administered through peripheral venous line. Medical supervision is recommended during the administration of the medicine to check if there are any allergic reactions at injection site.

Effect on menstrual cycle

Effect on the menstrual cycle is not clinically established. You may consult your gynaecologist.

Drug Interactions to Be Careful About

Trabectedin may possibly show drug interaction with some other medication if they are used together. It is advised to share the medication details that you might be using any with your doctor before he prescribes this medicine to you.

Trabectedin has the possibility of showing drug interaction if used along with the below mentioned list of medicine.

  • Leflunomide
  • Live attenuated vaccines and related products
  • Etanercept
  • Adalimumab
  • Clozapine
  • Deferiprone

Food interactions

Consumption of grapefruit or grapefruit juice is not advised as this may affect the medicine levels in the blood and affect functioning of bone marrow which results in low WBC and platelet count. Inform your doctor immediately if you feel any allergic symptoms.

Interactions with laboratory procedures :

Limited data is available on interaction with any diagnostic test while under the medication but it is always good to share details about your current medication before attending any lab tests so that you doctor and lab technician is aware of.

Is Trabectedin Addictive?

No drug addiction is noticed in case of Trabectedin.

Can I have Trabectedin with alcohol?

Limited data is available about the effect of Trabectedin if consumed with alcohol. Consult your doctor if you have a habit of taking alcohol at regular basis.

Can I have Trabectedin When Pregnant?

Not advised to use in general in pregnant women. Contraception during and  2 months after the last dose is advised in women trying to conceive.

Can I have Trabectedin when feeding a baby?

Not advised to use in general in breastfeeding women. But with consultation and supervision in case if unavoidable and the intended benefits are more compared to possible side effects. If this medicine is prescribed during breastfeeding, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until the treatment is completed.

Can I drive after taking Trabectedin?

Some patients may experience dizziness and blurred vision. Hence, it is not advised to do activities which require alertness such ad driving or operating heavy machinery.   

Effect of overdose Trabectedin

In general possibility of overdosage is very rare as this medicine is administered by trained medical professionals. Serious adverse effects may be possible if overdosage happens in large quantities. Emergency medical care shall be taken if any overdosage happens.  

Effect of using expired Trabectedin?

It is advised not to use any medicine that is expired to avoid adverse effects. Consult your doctor immediately if any adverse effects are noticed by taking any expired medicine. It is advised to check the label while purchasing the medicine to verify the expiry date to be safe.

Effect of missing a dose of Trabectedin

Possibility of missing a dosage is rare as this is done by medical professionals. If you forgot to attend certain visit to your doctor to get a dose, consult your doctor immediately.

Storage requirements

Reconstituted medicine should be diluted just before use and should be administered immediately. Reconstituted is safe if kept not more than 24 hours and at 2°C to 8°C under aseptic conditions.

Different Brands of Trabectedin medicine available

Below mentioned is the available brand of medicine that contains Trabectedin as key ingredient, and your doctor may prescribe this to treat the condition.

  • Trabec 1 mg Solution for infusion – Manufactured by Natco Pharma Ltd
  • Yondelis (YONDELIS is supplied in a glass vial containing 1 mg trabectedin – Manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals.


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