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Balversa (Generic Erdafitinib)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Balversa (erdafitinib) is prescribed for the treatment of adults with locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer that has a specific genetic alteration known as FGFR3 or FGFR2. This genetic alteration can cause cancer cells to grow and spread more aggressively. Balversa works by blocking the activity of these altered FGFR proteins, which can slow down or stop the growth of cancer cells.

How should this medicine be used?

Balversa is usually taken orally, in the form of tablets. The recommended dosage is 8 mg once daily, with or without food. Your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate dosage for you based on your individual condition and response to treatment. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when taking Balversa.

If you have any questions or concerns about how to use Balversa, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare provider or pharmacist. They can provide you with detailed information and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Additionally, it’s crucial to adhere to the prescribed dosage and schedule to maximize the effectiveness of the medication and minimize the risk of side effects.

Other uses for this medicine

Balversa (erdafitinib) is primarily used for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer with specific genetic alterations (FGFR3 or FGFR2). However, it’s important to note that healthcare providers may prescribe medications “off-label,” meaning for uses other than those approved by regulatory authorities like the FDA.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for Balversa, here are some important points to consider:

  • Genetic Testing: Before starting treatment with Balversa, your healthcare provider will likely perform genetic testing to determine if your cancer has the specific FGFR3 or FGFR2 alterations for which Balversa is indicated.
  • Liver Function Monitoring: Balversa can cause liver problems, including increases in liver enzymes and liver damage. Your healthcare provider will regularly monitor your liver function with blood tests before and during treatment with Balversa.
  • Eye Problems: Balversa may cause serious eye problems, including changes in vision or inflammation of the eye. Report any new or worsening eye symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly.
  • Hyperphosphatemia: Balversa can lead to high levels of phosphate in the blood (hyperphosphatemia). Your healthcare provider may monitor your phosphate levels during treatment and may prescribe phosphate-lowering medications if necessary.
  • Kidney Function: Balversa may also affect kidney function. Your healthcare provider may monitor your kidney function with blood tests during treatment.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Balversa may harm an unborn baby. It’s essential to use effective contraception during treatment with Balversa and for at least one month after the last dose. Additionally, it’s not recommended to breastfeed while taking Balversa.
  • Drug Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, vitamins, and supplements you are taking, as Balversa may interact with other drugs.
  • Adverse Reactions: Be aware of potential side effects of Balversa, including mouth sores, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, and changes in taste. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and discuss any questions or concerns you have about Balversa or its potential side effects. They can provide personalized guidance based on your medical history and individual circumstances.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Balversa. However, maintaining a well-balanced diet and staying hydrated can support overall health during cancer treatment. If you have any concerns about diet or nutrition, consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for personalized advice.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of Balversa, take it as soon as you remember on the same day. If it is already close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you have any concerns or questions about missed doses, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Balversa (erdafitinib) can cause various side effects, ranging from mild to severe. It’s essential to be aware of these potential side effects and to promptly report any new or worsening symptoms to your healthcare provider. Some common side effects of Balversa include:

  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or weak.
  • Nausea: Feeling sick to your stomach, sometimes leading to vomiting.
  • Diarrhea: Frequent bowel movements that may be loose or watery.
  • Mouth Sores: Painful sores or ulcers in the mouth.
  • Change in Taste: Altered sense of taste, such as a metallic taste in the mouth.
  • Decreased Appetite: Reduced desire to eat.
  • Dry Mouth: Feeling parched or having reduced saliva production.
  • Changes in Nail Color: Discoloration or changes in the appearance of the fingernails or toenails.
  • Hair Loss: Thinning or loss of hair.
  • Abnormal Liver Function Tests: Elevated levels of liver enzymes in the blood, indicating potential liver problems.
  • High Phosphate Levels: Increased levels of phosphate in the blood (hyperphosphatemia).
  • Eye Problems: Changes in vision, eye pain, or inflammation of the eye (conjunctivitis).
  • Kidney Problems: Changes in kidney function, which may be detected through blood tests.
  • Skin Reactions: Rashes, itching, or redness of the skin.
  • Musculoskeletal Pain: Pain or discomfort in the muscles or joints.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and some individuals may experience side effects not mentioned here. Additionally, some side effects of Balversa can be severe or life-threatening. Therefore, if you experience any concerning symptoms while taking Balversa, notify your healthcare provider immediately. They can provide guidance on managing side effects and may adjust your treatment plan if necessary.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal of Balversa (erdafitinib):

  • Storage: Store Balversa tablets at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). Keep the medication in its original container, tightly closed, and away from moisture and heat. Do not store Balversa in the bathroom.
  • Disposal: Dispose of unused or expired Balversa tablets properly according to local regulations or guidelines. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Consult with your healthcare provider, pharmacist, or local waste disposal authority for guidance on safe disposal methods.

In case of emergency/overdose

If you suspect an overdose of Balversa or experience severe symptoms such as severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, vision changes, or difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention or contact a poison control center right away. Do not attempt to treat an overdose without professional medical assistance.

What other information should I know?

  • Regular Follow-Up: Attend all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider for monitoring and follow-up during treatment with Balversa.
  • Genetic Testing: Balversa is specifically indicated for bladder cancer with certain genetic alterations (FGFR3 or FGFR2). Ensure that you have undergone appropriate genetic testing to determine eligibility for treatment.
  • Blood Tests: Your healthcare provider may perform regular blood tests to monitor liver function, kidney function, and phosphate levels during treatment with Balversa.
  • Adherence to Treatment Plan: Take Balversa exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor first.
  • Avoid Grapefruit: Avoid consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking Balversa, as it may interact with the medication and increase the risk of side effects.
  • Inform Healthcare Providers: Inform all healthcare providers involved in your care that you are taking Balversa, including dentists and specialists, as it may interact with other medications or treatments.
  • Patient Assistance Programs: If you have difficulty affording Balversa or need assistance with medication costs, inquire about patient assistance programs or financial assistance options offered by the manufacturer or charitable organizations.

Always consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about Balversa or its use. They can provide personalized advice based on your individual medical history and circumstances.

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