Nilotinib is used for the treatment of a certain type of blood cancer called chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). It is a disease in which the bone marrow makes too many white blood cells. In which it may affect red and white blood cells as well as the platelets. CML is a slowly progressing blood and bone marrow disease that usually happens during or after middle age. It rarely occurs in children. CML is possible when something goes awry in the genes of your bone marrow cells. This condition often doesn’t cause signs and symptoms. It might be detected during a blood test. When they occur, signs and symptoms may include:
- Easy bleeding
- Bone pain
- Feeling run-down or tired
- Feeling full after eating a small amount of food
- Weight loss without trying
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss without trying
- Excessive sweating during sleep (night sweats)
- Pain or fullness below the ribs on the left side
Leukemiais different from other types of cancer that start in organs like the colon,lungs, or breast and then spread to the bone marrow. Cancers that start inanother part of the body and then spread to the bone marrow are not leukemia.
Nilotinib is a type of anticancer medicine called a protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor. This helps stop and slow the growth of cancer cells. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication. Nilotinib comes as a capsule with the dosage strengths of 50 mg, 150 mg, and 200 mg for oral use.
How doesNilotinib work?
Nilotinibinterferes with the pathways that signal certain types of cancer cells to grow.This targets the abnormal protein that is made by the abnormal Philadelphiachromosome. This drug blocks the action of this protein, which stops thecancerous cells from growing. The cancerous cells then die.
Leukemiais a type of cancer that happens when a cancerous change in a white blood cellis produced. CML affects white blood cells called granulocytes. In this type ofleukemia, the cancerous change often involves an abnormal rearrangement of thechromosomes in the white blood cells. Leukemic blood cells often have anabnormal chromosome called the Philadelphia chromosome, as well as other abnormalchromosomal arrangements. The abnormal chromosomes disturb the normal controlof the way the blood cells divide and multiply. They cause an abnormal proteinto be produced on the blood cells called Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase. This proteinmakes the white blood cells multiply without restraint. It dramaticallyincreases the number produced by the bone marrow.
Nilotinibonly acts on cancerous cells because these are the only cells that carry theabnormal tyrosine kinase. This means Nilotinib stops the growth of the abnormalcancerous cells while having little effect on the growth of normal healthycells.
How touse Nilotinib?
Nilotinibis to be taken by mouth usually twice a day about 12 hours apart. Each dose istaken on an empty stomach or as directed by your doctor. Swallow the capsule asa whole with a full glass of water. Do not open or chew it. Do not eat any foodfor at least 2 hours before or an hour after taking your dose. Taking this withfood might increase the amount of drug in your body and increase the risk ofserious side effects. If you cannot swallow the capsule, it may be opened andthe contents sprinkled in 1 teaspoon of applesauce. This mixture should beswallowed right away. Use only 1 teaspoon of applesauce. Do not sprinkle thecontents onto other types of food. Drink plenty of fluids during treatment withthis medication, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, laboratory tests, and other medications you may be taking. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased. Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while being treated with this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Grapefruit can increase the number of certain medications in your bloodstream.
What arethe side effects of Nilotinib?
- Skin rash
- Joint or muscle aches or pain
- Back pain
- Temporary hair loss
- Cold symptoms (sneezing, stuffy nose, sore throat, or cough)
Tell yourdoctor right away if these side effects occur:
- Toe or joint pain
- Severe stomach or abdominal pain
- Painful urination
- Swelling ankles, hands, or feet
- A change in the amount of urine
- Unusual or rapid weight gain
- Signs of liver disease (stomach pain, persistent vomiting, dark urine, or yellowing eyes or skin)
- Symptoms of high blood sugar (urination or increased thirst)
Call formedical help if you experience signs of an allergic reaction including:
- Difficulty or trouble breathing
- Swelling in your lips, throat, face, or mouth
- If you are pregnant, breastfeeding women, or get pregnant while having this treatment call your doctor right away for a consultation.
- This medicine may cause dizziness or blurred vision that could affect your ability to perform hazardous activities safely. You should take extra care when driving until you know how it affects you.
- If you ever had an allergic reaction to this medication, let your doctor know. Tell as well if you have any allergies. This drug may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.
- If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor right away.
- Nilotinib should be sued with caution in people with decreased liver function, slow heart rate, history of heart disease, with a low level of magnesium and potassium in their blood, or with pancreatitis.
- This is not recommended for use in children and adolescents under 18 years old.
- Let your doctor know if you are taking any other medications including vitamins or herbal supplements.
- If you missed a dose of this prescription, call your doctor right away for instructions.