What is dasatinib?
Dasatinib is a cancer medicine that slows the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Dasatinib is used in adults and children to treat a type of blood cancer called Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).
Dasatinib is also used to treat Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in adults and children.
Dasatinib is a cancer medication that slows the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Dasatinib can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. You may get an infection or bleed more easily. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).
Some people using dasatinib have developed a rare but serious condition called pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). PAH may be irreversible if not promptly treated, and this condition can be fatal. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk of developing PAH.
Before taking this medicine
Some people using dasatinib have developed a rare but serious condition called pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). PAH occurs when blood pressure increases inside the arteries in your lungs. This makes it harder for your heart to pump blood through the lungs, which also weakens muscles in the heart. PAH may be irreversible if not promptly treated, and this condition can be fatal. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk of developing PAH.
To make sure dasatinib is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- a weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicines);
- stomach or intestinal bleeding;
- liver disease;
- heart disease;
- low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood;
- long QT syndrome (in you or a family member);
- lung disease; or
- lactose intolerance.
Dasatinib may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using dasatinib, and for at least 30 days after your last dose. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
Dasatinib may affect fertility (ability to have children) in both men and women. However, it is important to use birth control to prevent pregnancy because dasatinib may harm the baby if a pregnancy does occur.
You should not breastfeed while taking dasatinib and for at least 2 weeks after your last dose.
How should I take dasatinib?
Take dasatinib exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.
You may take dasatinib with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.
Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.
Do not use a pill that has been accidentally broken. The medicine from a crushed or broken pill can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If this occurs, wash your skin with soap and water or rinse your eyes with water. Wear rubber gloves while handling a broken tablet or capsule. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely dispose of the broken pill. A pregnant woman should not handle a broken pill.
Dasatinib can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
Do not change your dose or stop using dasatinib without your doctor’s advice.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What should I avoid while taking dasatinib?
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with dasatinib and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products while taking this medicine.
Avoid taking an antacid within 2 hours before or after you take dasatinib. Some antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb dasatinib.
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Dasatinib side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to dasatinib (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).
Call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), such as:
- chest pain, feeling tired or short of breath (even with mild exertion);
- swelling in your feet, lower legs, or midsection;
- blue-colored lips and skin; and
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out.
Also call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe ongoing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
- severe headaches, extreme tiredness, muscle or joint pain;
- pain when you breathe, shortness of breath (especially when lying down);
- swelling, rapid weight gain;
- chest pain, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
- easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
- other signs of bleeding – blood in your urine, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, confusion, headache, problems with speech;
- low blood cell counts – fever, chills, tiredness, flu-like symptoms, mouth sores, skin sores, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed; or
- signs of tumor cell breakdown – muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, weakness, swelling, feeling short of breath, or seizure.
Dasatinib may affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.
Common dasatinib side effects may include:
- nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain;
- headache, muscle pain, pain in your hands or feet;
- breathing problems;
- skin rash; or
- feeling tired.
What other drugs will affect dasatinib?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Dasatinib may increase your risk of severe or fatal bleeding, especially if you also use a blood thinner or any medication to prevent blood clots.
Many drugs can interact with dasatinib, and some drugs should not be used at the same time. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here.