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Generic Name:

palbociclib, Oral capsule

All Brands

  • Ibrance
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for palbociclib

Oral capsule
1

Palbociclib is an oral chemotherapy used to treat advanced breast cancer.

2

Palbociclib must be taken along with letrozole, another breast cancer drug.

3

Don’t take any palbociclib capsules that are broken, cracked, or look damaged.

4

Common side effects include: tiredness, nausea, sore mouth, unusual hair thinning or hair loss, diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting, weakness, and numbness or tingling in your arms, hands, legs, and feet.

5

Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit-containing products, such as juice, while taking palbociclib. Grapefruit can increase the amount of palbociclib in your blood. This puts you at higher risk for side effects.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Low white blood cells warning

Palbociclib can cause low while blood cell counts (neutropenia). You doctor will monitor your blood counts, and may decrease the dose of palbociclib or stop treatment if you develop this condition.

Risk of Infections

Palbociclib can increase your risk of infections. Your doctor will monitor you for signs of infections and treat you if needed.

Blood clots in your lungs risk

Palbociclib can cause blood clots in your lungs (pulmonary embolism). You doctor will monitor you for symptoms of pulmonary embolism and treat you if needed.

What is palbociclib?

Palbociclib is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral capsule.

This drug is used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs. Palbociclib is taken in combination with letrozole or fulvestrant.

Why it's used

Palbociclib is used to treat advanced breast cancer.

How it works

Palbociclib belongs to a class of drugs called kinase inhibitors.

More Details

How It Works

Palbociclib belongs to a class of drugs called kinase inhibitors. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

Palbociclib works by interfering with kinase, a type of protein in the body that helps control cell division. This stops cancer cells from dividing and growing.

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SECTION 2 of 5

palbociclib Side Effects

Oral capsule

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with palbociclib include:

  • fatigue

  • nausea

  • numbness or tingling in your arms, hands, legs, and feet

  • sore mouth

  • unusual hair thinning or hair loss

  • diarrhea

  • decreased appetite

  • vomiting

  • weakness

  • respiratory tract infection

  • low white blood cells

  • low red blood cells (anemia)

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • low white blood cell count (neutropenia). Symptoms may include:

    • dizziness
    • shortness of breath
    • weakness
    • bleeding or bruising more easily
    • nosebleeds
  • infections. Symptoms include:

    • fever
    • chills
  • blood clots in your lungs (pulmonary embolism). Symptoms may include:

    • shortness of breath
    • sudden, sharp chest pain that may become worse with deep breathing
    • fast heart rate
    • fast breathing
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Palbociclib doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

palbociclib May Interact with Other Medications

Oral capsule

This drug can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Food Interactions

Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit-containing products, such as juice, while taking palbociclib. Grapefruit can increase the amount of palbociclib in your blood. This puts you at higher risk for side effects.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Antibiotics
  • clarithromycin
  • telithromycin

These drugs may increase the amount of palbociclib in your body. This may raise your risk for side effects or cause toxicity. Your doctor may lower your dose of palbociclib if you take these drugs together.

Antifungal medications
  • itraconazole
  • ketoconazole
  • posaconazole
  • voriconazole

These drugs may increase the amount of palbociclib in your body. This may raise your risk for side effects or cause toxicity. Your doctor may lower your dose of palbociclib if you take these drugs together.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) medications
  • lopinavir
  • ritonavir
  • indinavir
  • nelfinavir
  • saquinavir

These drugs may increase the amount of palbociclib in your body. This may raise your risk for side effects or cause toxicity. Your doctor may lower your dose of palbociclib if you take these drugs together.

  • efavirenz
  • etravirine

These drugs may decrease the amount of palbociclib in your body. This means that it won’t work as well. Avoid taking these drugs together.

Drug that treats hepatitis C virus
  • telaprevir

This drug may increase the amount of palbociclib in your body. This may raise your risk for side effects or cause toxicity. Your doctor may lower your dose of palbociclib if you take these drugs together.

Heart and blood pressure drug
  • verapamil

This drug may increase the amount of palbociclib in your body. This may raise your risk for side effects or cause toxicity. Your doctor may lower your dose of palbociclib if you take these drugs together.

Drug for depression
  • nefazodone

This drug may increase the amount of palbociclib in your body. This may raise your risk for side effects or cause toxicity. Your doctor may lower your dose of palbociclib if you take these drugs together.

Drug for tuberculosis
  • rifampin

This drug may decrease the amount of palbociclib in your body. This means that it won’t work as well. Avoid taking these drugs together.

Drugs for seizures
  • phenytoin
  • carbamazepine

These drugs may decrease the amount of palbociclib in your body. This means that it won’t work as well. Avoid taking these drugs together.

Herbal supplement
  • St. John’s wort

This drug may decrease the amount of palbociclib in your body. This means that it won’t work as well. Avoid taking these drugs together.

Bosentan

This drug may decrease the amount of palbociclib in your body. This means that it won’t work as well. Avoid taking these drugs together.

Drug for sleep disorders
  • modafinil

This drug may decrease the amount of palbociclib in your body. This means that it won’t work as well. Avoid taking these drugs together.

Drug for bacterial infections
  • nafcillin 

This drug may decrease the amount of palbociclib in your body. This means that it won’t work as well. Avoid taking these drugs together.

Drugs used before or during surgery
  • midazolam
  • alfentanil

Palbociclib can increase the amount of these medications in your body. Your doctor may decrease your dose of these medications while you’re taking palbociclib.

Drugs used after organ transplant
  • cyclosporine
  • everolimus
  • sirolimus
  • tacrolimus

Palbociclib can increase the amount of these medications in your body. Your doctor may decrease your dose of these medications while you’re taking palbociclib.

Drugs for migraine headaches
  • dihydroergotamine
  • ergotamine

Palbociclib can increase the amount of these medications in your body. Your doctor may decrease your dose of these medications while you’re taking palbociclib.

Pain medication
  • fentanyl

Palbociclib can increase the amount of these medications in your body. Your doctor may decrease your dose of these medications while you’re taking palbociclib.

Drug for Tourette syndrome
  • pimozide

Palbociclib can increase the amount of these medications in your body. Your doctor may decrease your dose of these medications while you’re taking palbociclib.

Drug for irregular heart rate
  • quinidine 

Palbociclib can increase the amount of these medications in your body. Your doctor may decrease your dose of these medications while you’re taking palbociclib.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Palbociclib Warnings
low white blood cell
People with low white blood cell counts (neutropenia)

Palbociclib can cause low white blood cell counts (neutropenia). If you already have neutropenia, your doctor may use a lower dose of palbociclib or recommend a different drug.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

Palbociclib can cause fetal harm if given to a pregnant woman.

Palbociclin is approved for use in women who’ve already experienced menopause. If you’re still in your childbearing years, use contraception during palbociclib treatment and for at least two weeks after your last dose. 

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Palbociclib should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Palbociclib may lower fertility in men who take the drug. Tell your doctor if you’re a man taking palbociclib and plan to conceive a child.

breastfeeding
Women who are nursing

It isn’t known if palbociclib passes through breast milk. If it does, it may cause serious effects in a breastfeeding child.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take palbociclib or breastfeed.

children
For Children

The safety and effectiveness of palbociclib haven’t been established in people younger than 17 years old.

Allergies

Palbociclib can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives
  • skin rash
  • itching

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take palbociclib (Dosage)

Oral capsule

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Advanced breast cancer in post-menopausal women
Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 75 mg, 100 mg, and 125 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • Treatment is given in a 28-day cycle. The recommended dose of palbociclib is 125 mg taken by mouth once per day for 21 days followed by 7 days off palbociclib treatment.
  • When taken with this drug, the recommended dose of letrozole is 2.5 mg once per day given each day of the 28-day cycle.
  • When taken with this drug, the recommended dose of fulvestrant is 500 mg given on days 1, 15, and 29. You’ll take it once a month after that.
  • Your doctor may adjust your dose based on side effects or other drugs you’re taking.
Child dosage (ages 0-17 years)

A safe and effective dosage for people younger than 18 years old hasn’t been established.

Special considerations

Liver damage or liver disease: Your doctor may monitor you more closely if you have moderate to severe liver disease. You may need a lower dose of the drug if you have too many side effects.

Warnings

The dose of palbociclib may be adjusted based on how well you tolerate treatment. If you have severe side effects, your doctor my stop or delay treatment, or decrease your dose of palbociclib.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Palbociclib comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If You Don’t Take It at All

If you don’t take palbociclib, your cancer may get worse.

If You Skip or Miss Doses

If you stop taking or don’t take your palbociclib as scheduled, the drug may not be as effective.

If You Take Too Much

Taking too much palbociclib can cause severe side effects. Call your doctor right away or go to the emergency room if you’ve taken too much or suspect that you’ve taken too much palbociclib.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If you miss a dose, don’t take a dose on that day. Take your next dose at its regular time.

How to Tell if the Drug is Working

You may not be able to tell if this medication is working. Your doctor will do blood tests and scans to see how you’re responding to treatment.

Palbociclib is a short-term or long-term drug treatment

Your length of treatment will depend on your response to palbociclib.

Important Considerations for Taking Palbociclib
take with food
Palbociclib should be taken with food
timing
Palbociclib should be taken at the same time each day
do not crush or cut
You can’t crush or cut the tablet
storage
Store palbociclib at room temperature
See Details
refillable
Prescription is refillable
travel
Travel
See Details
Clinical Monitoring
See Details
diet considerations
Your Diet
See Details
not usually stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead
prior authorization
Insurance
See Details

Store palbociclib at room temperature

Keep it in temperatures from 68–77°F (20–25°C).

Don’t freeze palbociclib.

Keep it away from light and high temperatures.

Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s label to clearly identify the medication. Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling with your medication.
  • Make sure that you have an adequate supply of palbociclib before you travel. You may have trouble getting this drug while traveling. It’s not usually stocked in pharmacies.

Clinical Monitoring

During treatment with palbociclib, your doctor will do tests to monitor your:

  • liver function
  • kidney function
  • blood count

Your Diet

Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit-containing products, such as juice, while taking palbociclib. Grapefruit can increase the amount of palbociclib in your blood. This puts you at higher risk for side effects.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for palbociclib.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does palbociclib Cost?

Oral capsule

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for palbociclib on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on March 24, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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