Alpelisib : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Alpelisib is used in combination with fulvestrant (Faslodex) to treat a certain type of breast cancer that has spread to nearby tissues or other parts of the body in women who have already gone through menopause (“life change”, end of the menstruation). periods) or in men whose cancer got worse during or after certain other treatments. Alpelisib is in a class of medications called kinase inhibitors. It works by blocking the signals that cause cancer cells to multiply. This helps stop the spread of cancer cells.
How should this medicine be used?
Alpelisib comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with food once a day for as long as your doctor recommends treatment. Take alpelisib at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you don’t understand. Take alpelisib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them. Do not take a tablet that is broken, cracked, or damaged.
If you vomit after taking alpelisib, do not take another dose. Continue with your usual dosing schedule.
Your doctor may lower your dose of alpelisib, treat you with other medications, or interrupt or stop your treatment if you experience certain side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor how you feel during your treatment with alpelisib.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking alpelisib,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to alpelisib, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in alpelisib tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, or nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, others), cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), efavirenz (Sustiva, in Atripla, Symfi), eltrombopag (Promacta), nevirapine (Viramune), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), pioglitazone (Actos, in Oseni, Duetact), rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, Rifater), and warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects. Many other medications can also interact with alpelisib, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- Tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially curcumin and St. John’s wort.
- Tell your doctor if you have ever had a rash with red sores on your lips, mouth, or skin, or blistering, peeling skin; or have or have had diabetes or kidney disease.
- Tell your doctor if you or your partner are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. You or your partner must not become pregnant during treatment with alpelisib. If you are a woman who can become pregnant, you will need to take a pregnancy test before starting treatment, and you must use effective contraception during your treatment and for 1 week after your last dose. If you are a man with a female partner who can become pregnant, use a condom during your treatment and for 1 week after your final dose. If you or your partner become pregnant while taking alpelisib, call your doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. Your doctor may tell you not to breastfeed during your treatment and for 1 week after your last dose.
- You should know that this medicine can decrease fertility in men and women. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking alpelisib.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if more than 9 hours have passed since the missed dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Alpelisib may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- extreme tiredness
- decreased appetite
- change in the way things taste
- weight loss
- abdominal pain
- hair loss
- dry skin
- dry mouth
- vaginal dryness
- swelling of the arms or legs
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- trouble swallowing or breathing, rash, flushing, fever, or fast heartbeat
- blistering, peeling skin, rash, reddened skin, sores on the lips or in the mouth, fever, flu-like symptoms
- increased thirst, dry mouth, increased appetite with weight loss, urinating more often or larger amounts than usual, breath that smells like fruit
- shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, difficulty breathing
- severe diarrhea, dry mouth, cramps, weakness, decreased urination, swelling of legs or ankles
- frequent, painful, or urgent urination
Alpelisib may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not resistant to children and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure they cannot be consumed by pets, children, and others. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- lack of energy
- increased thirst and appetite
- dry mouth
- urinating more often or larger amounts
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order a laboratory test before starting your treatment to see if your cancer can be treated with alpelisib. Your doctor will also order certain laboratory tests before and during your treatment to check your body’s response to alpelisib.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.