Dabrafenib may be used alone or in combination with another medication (trametinib) to treat a type of skin cancer (melanoma). It is also used with trametinib to treat thyroid cancer and a type of lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer-NSCLC). Dabrafenib works by slowing the growth of cancer cells.
How to use Tafinlar
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily about 12 hours apart. Take this medication on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not open, crush, chew, or break the capsules.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of serious side effects will increase. Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the capsules.
Hair loss, thickening of the outer layers of the skin, headache, swelling/peeling of feet/hands, and joint/muscle/back pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Although this medication is used to treat certain skin cancers, it may rarely cause new skin cancer or other cancers. Tell your doctor right away if you notice unusual skin changes (such as skin sores/lumps, warts, change in the size/color of a mole, skin bump that bleeds or does not heal). Your doctor should check your skin before starting treatment, every 2 months during treatment, and for up to 6 months after stopping this medication.
This medication may rarely make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bruising/bleeding, signs of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain), signs of infection (such as fever, chills, persistent sore throat, cough), dizziness/fainting, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: eye pain/swelling/redness, vision changes (such as blurred vision, sensitivity to light), fast/irregular heartbeat, signs of bleeding in the brain (such as severe headache, weakness on one side of the body, vision problems, trouble speaking, seizures, or confusion), signs of stomach/intestinal bleeding (such as black/bloody stools, vomit that contains blood or looks like coffee grounds, or dizziness).
Dabrafenib can commonly cause a rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Get medical help right away if you develop any rash.
Dabrafenib in combination with trametinib may rarely cause other serious side effects. Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: sudden pain/swelling/redness (usually in the leg), chest pain, trouble breathing.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, swollen lymph nodes, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking dabrafenib, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication can affect fertility in males. Ask your doctor for more details.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using dabrafenib. Dabrafenib may harm an unborn baby. Your doctor should order a pregnancy test before you start this medication. Ask about reliable forms of non-hormonal birth control (including condoms and/or diaphragms with spermicide) while using this medication and for 2 weeks after stopping treatment (or for 4 months after stopping treatment if using this drug with trametinib). Male patients with female partners of childbearing age should use condoms during treatment and for at least 2 weeks after stopping treatment (or for at least 4 months after stopping treatment if using this drug with trametinib). If you or your partner become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the capsules.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug and for 2 weeks after treatment (or for 4 months after stopping treatment if using this drug with trametinib). Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this medication. Also tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your birth control is not working well.
Other medications can affect the removal of dabrafenib from your body, which may affect how dabrafenib works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole), gemfibrozil, macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin), nefazodone, St. John's wort, drugs used to treat seizures (such as phenobarbital, phenytoin), among others.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as BRAF testing) should be done before you start taking this medication and while you are taking it. Keep all medical and lab appointments. It is important to have regular skin exams while taking dabrafenib and for up to 6 months after the last dose.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 6 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.