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Ibrance (Generic Palbociclib)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Ibrance is prescribed for the treatment of hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HR+/HER2-) advanced or metastatic breast cancer. This type of breast cancer is sensitive to hormones, specifically estrogen, and does not overexpress the HER2 protein.

Ibrance is used in combination with other medications, such as an aromatase inhibitor or fulvestrant, to slow down the growth and spread of cancer cells. The medication works by inhibiting certain proteins called cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) 4 and 6, which are involved in the regulation of cell division. By blocking these proteins, Ibrance helps to prevent cancer cells from dividing and growing.

The combination of Ibrance with other medications has been shown to extend the progression-free survival (the length of time during treatment when the cancer does not worsen) in patients with advanced or metastatic breast cancer. It provides an additional treatment option for postmenopausal women or men with HR+/HER2- breast cancer who have not received prior systemic therapy for their advanced disease or have progressed after prior endocrine therapy.

How should this medicine be used?

Ibrance should be used according to the instructions provided by your healthcare provider. It is important to follow the prescribed dosage and schedule. Here are some general guidelines for the use of Ibrance, but it’s crucial to consult with your doctor for personalized advice:

  • Dosage: The dosage of Ibrance will be determined by your healthcare provider based on various factors, including your specific condition and other medications you may be taking. The typical starting dose of Ibrance is 125 mg, taken orally once daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by a break of 7 days (known as a treatment cycle). Your doctor may adjust the dosage as needed.
  • Administration: Ibrance comes in the form of capsules. Swallow the capsules whole with a glass of water. Do not chew, crush, or open the capsules.
  • Timing: Take Ibrance at approximately the same time each day to maintain consistent levels of the medication in your body.
  • Combination therapy: Ibrance is typically used in combination with other medications, such as an aromatase inhibitor (e.g., letrozole, anastrozole) or fulvestrant. Take the prescribed combination therapy as instructed by your doctor. The other medication may have its own specific dosing instructions.
  • Food and beverages: Ibrance can be taken with or without food. However, it’s recommended to take it consistently either with food or on an empty stomach, as food can affect the absorption of the medication.
  • Duration: Your doctor will determine the duration of treatment with Ibrance. It may be prescribed for as long as it is effective in controlling the cancer or until you experience intolerable side effects.
  • Follow-up appointments: Regularly visit your healthcare provider for follow-up appointments and monitoring of your progress. Your doctor may adjust the dosage or schedule based on your response to treatment and any side effects you may experience.

Remember, it is essential to strictly adhere to the instructions provided by your healthcare provider. If you have any questions or concerns about the use of Ibrance, it’s important to discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist for clarification and guidance.

Other uses for this medicine

Ibrance (palbociclib) is primarily prescribed for the treatment of hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HR+/HER2-) advanced or metastatic breast cancer. However, there may be instances where healthcare providers prescribe medications for off-label use, which means using a medication for a purpose other than its approved indication. It’s important to note that the off-label use of Ibrance should be determined by a healthcare professional based on their clinical judgment and evaluation of the individual’s specific condition.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for Ibrance, it’s crucial to discuss these with your healthcare provider, as they can provide personalized guidance based on your medical history and current health status. However, here are some general precautions associated with Ibrance use:

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Ibrance may cause harm to unborn babies, so it is not recommended during pregnancy. If you are a woman of childbearing potential, you should use effective contraception during treatment with Ibrance and for at least three weeks after the last dose. It is not known if Ibrance passes into breast milk, so breastfeeding should be avoided while taking Ibrance.
  • Liver function: Ibrance may affect liver function. Your doctor may monitor your liver function through blood tests before and during treatment. Inform your healthcare provider if you have a history of liver disease or if you experience symptoms such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, or persistent nausea and vomiting, as these may be signs of liver problems.
  • Low blood cell counts: Ibrance can cause a decrease in white blood cell counts, which may increase the risk of infection. Your doctor will monitor your blood cell counts regularly. Inform your doctor if you experience symptoms such as fever, chills, sore throat, or any signs of infection.
  • Interactions with other medications: It is important to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as Ibrance may interact with certain medications, including those that affect liver enzymes or medications that can cause QT prolongation (a type of abnormal heart rhythm).
  • Side effects: Like any medication, Ibrance can cause side effects. Common side effects include fatigue, nausea, decreased appetite, hair thinning or hair loss, diarrhea, and infections. However, everyone may respond differently to treatment. It is essential to report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

These precautions are not exhaustive, and there may be additional factors to consider based on your specific situation. It is crucial to have open and regular communication with your healthcare provider regarding any concerns or questions you may have about Ibrance.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Ibrance (palbociclib). However, it is generally recommended to take Ibrance consistently with respect to meals. This means you can take Ibrance with or without food, but it’s advisable to take it the same way each time to maintain consistent drug levels in your body.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Ibrance, here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Timing: If you realize that you missed a dose and it is still within 12 hours of the usual dosing time, you should take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Then, resume taking Ibrance at the regular scheduled time the next day.
  • Timing exceeds 12 hours: If it has been more than 12 hours since you missed the dose, it is recommended to skip the missed dose and take the next scheduled dose at the regular time. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Ibrance (palbociclib) can cause several side effects. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and their severity can vary from person to person. Common side effects of Ibrance include:

  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or having low energy levels is a common side effect of Ibrance. It is important to get enough rest and prioritize self-care during treatment.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Some individuals may experience nausea and vomiting. Your healthcare provider can prescribe medications to help manage these symptoms if they become bothersome.
  • Diarrhea: Ibrance can cause diarrhea. It’s important to stay hydrated and inform your doctor if the diarrhea persists or becomes severe.
  • Decreased appetite: Some individuals may experience a decrease in appetite while taking Ibrance. It’s important to maintain good nutrition and discuss any significant changes in appetite with your healthcare provider.
  • Hair thinning or hair loss: Hair thinning or hair loss (alopecia) can occur with Ibrance treatment. It is usually mild and reversible once treatment is completed or discontinued.
  • Infections: Ibrance can lower the number of white blood cells, which may increase the risk of infections. It is important to promptly report any signs of infection, such as fever, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms, to your doctor.
  • Low blood cell counts: Ibrance can cause a decrease in red blood cell and platelet counts. This may result in anemia (low red blood cells) or increased bruising or bleeding tendencies (low platelet counts). Regular blood tests will be done to monitor your blood cell counts.

These are not all the possible side effects of Ibrance. Some less common but more serious side effects can occur. It is important to contact your healthcare provider if you experience any severe or persistent side effects or have any concerns during treatment.

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

Storage and disposal:

  • Store Ibrance capsules at room temperature, away from excessive heat, moisture, and light. Follow the storage instructions provided on the medication packaging.
  • Keep Ibrance out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not use Ibrance if the packaging is damaged or if the capsules have expired. Properly dispose of expired or unused medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • If you believe you or someone else may have taken an overdose of Ibrance, call emergency services immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • Overdosing on Ibrance can increase the risk and severity of side effects. Symptoms of an overdose may include severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive fatigue.

What other information should I know?

  • Before starting Ibrance, inform your healthcare provider about any other medications, supplements, or herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with Ibrance.
  • Regular monitoring of your blood cell counts and liver function may be necessary during treatment with Ibrance.
  • Inform your healthcare provider if you have a history of liver disease, as Ibrance can affect liver function.
  • Ibrance may interact with medications that can cause QT prolongation, a type of abnormal heart rhythm. Inform your doctor if you have a history of heart problems or are taking any medications known to affect heart rhythm.
  • Attend all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider for check-ups and monitoring of your progress.
  • It’s important to discuss any concerns or questions you have about Ibrance or your treatment plan with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your specific situation.

Remember, the information provided here is a general overview. Always follow the instructions given by your healthcare provider and read the medication guide or patient information leaflet provided with Ibrance for detailed and specific information regarding storage, disposal, emergencies, and other important considerations.

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