Where is Ponatinib used?

Ponatinib is an FDA-approved medicine used to treat:

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)

This is in the family of drugs called kinase inhibitors that blocks the action of an anomalous protein that signals cancer cells to reproduce. This helps stop the spread of cancer cells.

How does Ponatinib work?

Ponatinib is a targeted therapy designed to block tumor cell growth in various ways. The drug targets several proteins known as tyrosine kinases on the surface of cancer cells. It also targets within the cells. Some of these targets are thought to be involved in angiogenesis. By blocking these targets, it is believed that cancer will shrink.

There are various types of targeted therapies classified into three broad types. Several targeted therapies focus on the internal mechanisms and function of the cancer cell. These targeted therapies used small molecules that can get into the cell and disrupt the function of the cells that causes them to die. Some types of targeted therapy focus on the inner parts of the cells and others are focused on receptors that are outside of the cell. Therapies that target receptors are also known as monoclonal antibodies.  These target blood vessels that supply oxygen to the cells that cause the cells to starve.

How is Ponatinib taken?

  • This medicine comes as a tablet for oral use.
  • Each dose can be taken either with or without food. The dosage is based on your condition and response to the drug.
  • Do not eat or drink grapefruit juice during treatment with this medicine. Doing so may change the total of the drug in your blood.
  • Take this medication exactly as it is prescribed, not more or less than given by your doctor.
  • Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water without crushing or dissolving it.
  • Do not change your dosage or stop taking this medicine unless your doctor tells you to do so.
  • The amount of this medicine you will take depends on your overall health, your condition being treated, and your age. Your doctor will determine your exact dose and schedule.

If you missed a dose and your next dose is:

  • Due in less than 12 hours and take your next dosage at the usual time.
  • Due in 12 hours, take the missed one as soon as you remember it.

What are the possible side effects of Ponatinib?

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Fluid build-up
  • Feeling sick
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Pain
  • Looking pale
  • Skin rash or itching

What are the precautions in taking Ponatinib?

  • Cancer drugs can interact with some other medicines and herbal products. Let your doctor know about any medicines you are taking including herbal supplements, vitamins, or over-the-counter medicines.
  • This remedy may harm a baby developing in the womb. It is important to not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Let your doctor know if you get pregnant while having treatment with this medication.
  • Do not have immunization for up to 12 months while you are having treatment. Consult your doctor first.
  • It is not recommended to breastfeed while taking a dose of this medicine.