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Why is this medication prescribed?
Abemaciclib is used to treat a specific kind of early breast cancer that expresses the hormone receptor in conjunction with an aromatase inhibitor such anastrozole (Arimidex), exemestane (Aromasin), or letrozole (Femara). A specific type of hormone receptor-positive, advanced breast cancer (breast cancer that depends on hormones like oestrogen to grow) or breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body following treatment with an antiestrogen drug like tamoxifen are also treated with a combination of fulvestrant and a drug called abemaciclib (Faslodex). Abemaciclib is also used as a first line treatment for advanced hormone receptor-positive breast cancer or breast cancer that has progressed to other regions of the body, coupled with anastrozole (Arimidex), exemestane (Aromasin), or letrozole (Femara). When chemotherapy and antiestrogen therapy have failed to control a certain form of hormone receptor-positive, advanced breast cancer or breast cancer that has spread to other body areas, abemaciclib may be taken alone. The drug abemaciclib belongs to the group of drugs known as kinase inhibitors. It functions by preventing the action of a problematic protein that instructs cancer cells to proliferate. This aids in containing or halting the spread of cancer cells.
How should this medicine be used?
Abemaciclib is available as an oral tablet. Most people take it twice a day, with or without food. Take abemaciclib every day at roughly the same time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Abemaciclib should be taken as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.
Do not chew, break, or crush the tablets; instead, swallow them whole. Do not take any tablets that are cracked, fractured, or otherwise damaged.
Do not take another dose of abemaciclib if you vomit after taking it. Continue taking your medication as usual.
If you have certain adverse effects, your doctor may lower your dose or temporarily or permanently stop your therapy. The effectiveness of the drug and any negative side effects you encounter will determine this. As you receive abemaciclib treatment, be sure to discuss your feelings with your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking abemaciclib,
- If you have an allergy to abemaciclib, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in abemaciclib tablets, tell your doctor and pharmacist right away. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
- Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use. Clarithromycin (Biaxin), diltiazem (Cardizem, Tiazac, others), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole, rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), and verapamil should all be mentioned (Calan, Verelan, others). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects. Be remember to inform your doctor about all the drugs you are taking, even those not on this list, as many other drugs may also interact with abemaciclib.
- Inform your doctor if you experience any other symptoms of infection, such as fever or chills, pulmonary embolism (PE, a blood clot in the lung), lung or breathing issues, liver or kidney problems, or if you have any of these conditions.
- If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant, let your doctor know. Pregnancy testing will be required before you begin therapy, and you should use birth control to avoid getting pregnant both throughout treatment and for at least 3 weeks following your last dosage. Call your doctor right away if you conceive while taking amaciclib. The foetus could suffer from bemaciclib.
- If you are currently breastfeeding or intend to do so, let your doctor know. While using abemaciclib and for at least 3 weeks following your last dose, you shouldn’t breastfeed.
- You should be aware that this drug may reduce male fertility. Describe the dangers of taking abemaciclib to your doctor.
- You should be aware that abemaciclib frequently results in diarrhoea, which can be very bad. When you initially suffer diarrhoea or loose stools, your doctor will likely advise you to drink a lot of fluids and take anti-diarrhea medicine to prevent dehydration (loss of an excessive amount of bodily water). If you notice any of the following signs of dehydration: intense thirst, dry mouth or skin, reduced urination, or rapid heartbeat, call your doctor right once.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
While using this medication, avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Ignore the missed dose and carry on with my normal dosing routine. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Bemaciclib might have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Abdominal pain
- Lesions in the mouth, throat, or lips
- Diminished appetite
- Loss of weight
- Hair fall
- Taste changes
- Aching joints
Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms or any listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section:
- Upper right stomach region discomfort
- Skin or eyes turning yellow
- Reduced appetite
- Easily bruising or bleeding
- Arms or legs hurt
- Hands, feet, legs, or ankles swelling
- Respiratory issues or lack of breath
- Coughing up mucus or not
- Chest pain
- Rapid breathing
- Hammering, rapid, or inconsistent heartbeat
- Fever, chills, cough, or other infection-related symptoms
- Light skin
Other negative effects of bemaciclib are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).
As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
What other information should I know?
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To monitor your body’s reaction to abemaciclib during and after therapy, your doctor may request specific lab tests.
No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.