Drugs A - Z
Nilotinib Oral capsule
Generic Name: nilotinib
Brand Names: Tasigna
What is this medicine?NILOTINIB (nil OT i nib) is a chemotherapy drug. It targets a specific protein within cancer cells and stops the cells from growing. This medicine is used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- heart disease
- history of irregular heartbeat
- history of pancreatitis
- liver disease
- low magnesium or potassium levels in the body
- QT prolongation
- total gastrectomy
- an unusual or allergic reaction to nilotinib, lactose, gelatin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food. Do not take with food or with grapefruit juice. Take H2-blockers at least 10 hours before or 2 hours after this medicine. Avoid taking antacids within 2 hours of taking this medicine. Do not cut, crush, or chew this medicine. If you cannot swallow the capsules whole, you may open the capsule and sprinkle the contents of each capsule in 1 teaspoon of applesauce. Immediately swallow the mixture. Do not store for future use.
Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?If you miss a dose, do not make up the missing dose. Take your next dose as scheduled. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- grapefruit or grapefruit juice
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
- certain antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin, troleandomycin
- medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
- medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
- medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, fluconazole
- medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
- medicines for stomach problems like cimetidine, famotidine, omeprazole, lansoprazole
- medicines for sleep
- St. John's Wort
What should I watch for while using this medicine?Visit your doctor for checks on your progress. You will need to have regular blood tests while on this medicine. Report any new symptoms promptly.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.
Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.
Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.
This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.
This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing problems
- chest pain or palpitations
- dizziness or fainting
- fast, irregular heartbeat
- fever or chills, sore throat
- increased hunger or thirst
- increased urination
- light-colored stools
- swelling of the ankles, feet, hands
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusually weak or tired
- yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- loss of appetite
- nausea, vomiting
- muscle aches
- stomach pain
- trouble sleeping
- weak or tired
Where should I keep my medicine?Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.