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Nilotinib

Nilotinib

Why is this medication prescribed?

Nilotinib is used to treat certain types of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML; a type of cancer of the white blood cells) who have recently found to have this condition in adults and children 1 year of age and older. It is also used to treat certain types of CML whose disease could not be treated successfully with imatinib (Gleevec) or adults who cannot take imatinib. Nilotinib is also used to treat certain types of CML in children 1 year of age or older whose disease could not be treated successfully with other tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapies. Nilotinib is in a class of medications called kinase inhibitors. It works by blocking the action of the abnormal protein that signals cancer cells to multiply. This helps to stop or slow the spread of cancer cells.

How should this medicine be used?

Nilotinib comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken without food twice a day. Nilotinib should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 2 hours before or 1 hour after eating any food. Take nilotinib at around the same times every day. Try to space your doses about 12 hours apart. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take nilotinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow the capsules whole with a glass of water; do not split, chew, or crush them. If you are not able to swallow the capsules whole, mix the contents of a capsule in one teaspoon of applesauce. Swallow the mixture immediately (within 15 minutes.) Do not store the mixture for future use

Side Effects:

Important things to remember about the side effects of nilotinib:

  • Most people will not experience all of the side effects listed.
  • Side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, and duration.
  • Side effects are almost always reversible and will go away after therapy is complete.
  • Side effects may be quite manageable. There are many options to minimize or prevent the side effects of nilotinib.

These are less common side effects for patients receiving nilotinib:

  • Itching
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Cough
  • Weakness
  • Cold symptoms
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle spasm
  • Edema (swelling of the face, feet, hands)
  • Bone pain
  • Back pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • High blood glucose levels
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