Brand Name Tafinlar Common Name dabrafenib
The content of this page:
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Dabrafenib belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics, and specifically to the family of medications called protein kinase inhibitors. It is used to treat a specific type of melanoma (skin cancer) that cannot be surgically removed or has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body).
Dabrafenib is not appropriate for all types of melanoma. It will only interfere with the growth of skin cancer cells that have a particular genetic mutation in a gene called BRAF. Your doctor will check for this mutation before dabrafenib is prescribed.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended adult dose of dabrafenib is 150 mg (2x75 mg capsules) taken by mouth two times a day to give a total of 300 mg daily. This medication should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal and with an interval of at least 12 hours between doses.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is within 6 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each opaque, dark red capsule, monogrammed with "GSTEW" and "50 mg"" contain 50 mg of dabrafenib as dabrafenib mesylate. Nonmedicinal ingredients: magnesium stearate, colloidal silicon dioxide, and microcrystalline cellulose. Capsule shells contain hypromellose, red iron oxide (E172), and titanium dioxide (E171). Monogramming ink contains black iron oxide, shellac, and propylene glycol.
Each opaque, dark pink capsule, monogrammed with "GSTEW" and "75 mg"" contain 75 mg of dabrafenib as dabrafenib mesylate. Nonmedicinal ingredients: magnesium stearate, colloidal silicon dioxide, and microcrystalline cellulose. Capsule shells contain hypromellose, red iron oxide (E172), and titanium dioxide (E171). Monogramming ink contains black iron oxide, shellac, and propylene glycol.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you are allergic to dabrafenib or any ingredients of the medication.
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- decreased appetite
- dry skin
- hair loss or thinning
- lack of energy
- thickened skin
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- flu-like symptoms (sudden lack of energy, fever, cough, sore throat)
- irregular heart beat
- joint or muscle pain
- new lesions on skin
- redness and swelling of fingers, palms, soles of feet
- signs of kidney problems (e.g., increased urination at night, decreased urine production, blood in the urine)
- signs and symptoms of changes in heart rhythm including feeling dizzy or faint, seizures, palpitations, feeling a rapid, pounding or irregular heart beat
- symptoms of high blood sugar (e.g., frequent urination, increased thirst, excessive eating, unexplained weight loss, poor wound healing, infections, fruity breath odour)
- vision changes (e.g., redness, blurred vision, eye pain, pain or irritation by light)
- wart-like growths
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- fever with chills, dizziness or dehydration, or low blood pressure
- signs of pancreatitis (e.g., abdominal pain on the upper left side, back pain, nausea, fever, chills, rapid heartbeat, swollen abdomen)
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Diabetes: Dabrafenib may cause an increase in blood sugar levels and glucose tolerance may change. People with diabetes may find it necessary to monitor their blood sugar more frequently while using this medication.
If you have diabetes or are at risk for developing diabetes, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Fertility: Men who take dabrafenib may develop a decreased sperm count that may not return to normal levels after you stop taking dabrafenib. Discuss your concerns with your doctor before starting to take dabrafenib.
Heart rhythm: Dabrafenib can cause changes to the normal rhythm of the heart, including an irregular heartbeat called QT prolongation. QT prolongation is a serious life-threatening condition that can cause fainting, seizures, and sudden death. If you are at risk for heart rhythm problems (e.g., people with heart failure, angina, low potassium or magnesium levels), discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Other cancers: New cancerous lesions on the skin, such as squamous cell cancer or new melanomas can occur while you are taking dabrafenib. It is important to have your skin examined before starting this medication, every 2 months while you are taking this medication and again 6 months after stopping the medication. Signs of squamous cell cancer include sores, warts of bumps that bleed or do not heal. Signs of melanoma include moles with an irregular shape, border, or colour that are changing shape or are growing. If you notice any of these signs, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
It is also possible to develop other cancers while taking dabrafenib. Discuss your concerns with your doctor before starting to take dabrafenib.
Pregnancy: This medication may cause harm to an unborn fetus and should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. Women of childbearing age who are taking dabrafenib should use an effective method of birth control such as condoms during treatment and for 4 weeks after stopping the medication. Dabrafenib is likely to decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills and should not be used as the only form of birth control.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if dabrafenib passes into breast milk. Because there is a high likelihood of causing harm to a nursing infant if this medication does pass into breast milk, it is advisable that either breast-feeding be stopped or the medication not used. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.Seniors: Seniors may be more likely to experience side effects of this medication and may require a lower dose.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between dabrafenib and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2018. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Tafinlar