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Why is this medication prescribed?

Quizartinib is a medication primarily used for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow, leading to the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells. Quizartinib is specifically indicated for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory FLT3-ITD (internal tandem duplication) positive AML. FLT3-ITD is a genetic mutation that is present in a subset of AML cases and is associated with a poorer prognosis.

How should this medicine be used?

Here are some key points regarding the use of quizartinib:

  • Prescription for AML with FLT3-ITD Mutation: Quizartinib is prescribed for adults who have acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with a specific genetic mutation called FLT3-ITD. It is typically used in cases where the AML has relapsed (come back after treatment) or is refractory (does not respond to initial treatment).
  • Mechanism of Action: Quizartinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that works by targeting and inhibiting the activity of the FLT3 protein, which is mutated in some AML cases. By inhibiting this protein, quizartinib aims to slow down or stop the growth of leukemia cells.
  • Dosage and Administration: The specific dosage and administration schedule of quizartinib can vary, and it is crucial to follow the healthcare provider’s instructions. It is often taken orally in the form of capsules. The capsules should be swallowed whole and should not be opened, crushed, or chewed.
  • Monitoring: Patients taking quizartinib will likely undergo regular monitoring, including blood tests, to assess the response to treatment and to monitor for any potential side effects.
  • Side Effects: Like any medication, quizartinib may cause side effects. Common side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and abnormalities in liver function tests. Serious side effects can also occur, and it’s important for patients to promptly report any unusual symptoms to their healthcare provider.
  • Special Considerations: Quizartinib may interact with other medications, and patients should inform their healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products they are taking. Additionally, it may not be suitable for certain individuals, such as those with liver problems.

It’s important for individuals prescribed quizartinib to have open and ongoing communication with their healthcare team, including reporting any side effects or concerns promptly. This ensures that the treatment plan can be adjusted if necessary and that the patient receives the best possible care.

Other uses for this medicine

Quizartinib is primarily indicated for relapsed or refractory AML with FLT3-ITD mutations. FLT3 mutations are found in a subset of AML patients and are associated with a poorer prognosis. By inhibiting the FLT3 receptor tyrosine kinase, quizartinib aims to suppress the growth of leukemia cells.

What special precautions should I follow?

When using Quizartinib, several special precautions should be followed:

  • Cardiac Monitoring: Quizartinib has been associated with QT interval prolongation. Regular monitoring of electrocardiograms (ECGs) is typically recommended, and patients with pre-existing heart conditions or those taking other medications that may affect the QT interval may require additional monitoring.
  • Liver Function: Quizartinib can affect liver function, leading to elevated liver enzymes. Regular liver function tests are usually performed during treatment.
  • Hematologic Monitoring: Regular monitoring of blood cell counts, including platelets, neutrophils, and red blood cells, is essential due to the potential for thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, and anemia.
  • Pulmonary Monitoring: Patients should be monitored for signs of interstitial lung disease or pneumonitis, which can be serious. If symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, or fever occur, prompt medical attention is advised.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Quizartinib may have adverse effects on fetal development. Adequate contraception is recommended for both men and women during treatment, and breastfeeding is not advised.
  • Drug Interactions: Quizartinib can interact with other medications, potentially affecting their levels or effects. Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking.
  • Pediatric Use: Safety and efficacy in pediatric patients have not been established.
  • Patient Counseling: Patients should be counseled on the importance of adherence to the prescribed treatment plan and reporting any unusual or severe side effects promptly.

It’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider for the most current and individualized information regarding the use of quizartinib, as guidelines and recommendations may evolve.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There may not be specific dietary restrictions associated with quizartinib. However, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. If you have any concerns about your diet, discuss them with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of quizartinib, contact your healthcare provider immediately for guidance. They will advise you on the best course of action, which may include taking the missed dose as soon as you remember or skipping it and returning to your regular dosing schedule.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Quizartinib, like any medication, can cause side effects. It’s important to note that individual responses to medications can vary, and patients should discuss any concerns or potential side effects with their healthcare provider. Here are some common side effects associated with quizartinib:

Common Side Effects:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Anemia
  • Low platelet count
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased liver enzymes

Serious Side Effects:

  • QT prolongation: This is a potential serious side effect affecting the heart’s electrical activity. Regular cardiac monitoring may be required.
  • Myelosuppression: Quizartinib can suppress bone marrow function, leading to low blood cell counts. Regular blood tests are typically conducted to monitor this.

It’s important for patients to report any side effects, especially if they are severe or persistent, to their healthcare provider.

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

Storage of Quizartinib:

  • Room Temperature: Store quizartinib at room temperature, away from excessive heat and moisture.
  • Original Container: Keep the medication in its original container to protect it from light and moisture.
  • Childproof Container: Store medications in a childproof container, out of reach of children.
  • Avoid Bathroom Storage: Avoid storing medications in the bathroom, as the humidity and temperature changes can affect their stability.

Disposal of Quizartinib:

  • Follow Guidelines: Follow specific disposal instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
  • Take-Back Programs: Check if there are any medication take-back programs in your area. Many pharmacies and community centers provide safe disposal options.
  • Do Not Flush: Do not flush medications down the toilet unless specifically instructed to do so.
  • Remove Personal Information: Before disposal, remove any personal information from the medication packaging.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of emergency or overdose, contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or seek emergency medical attention. Be prepared to provide information about the medication, the amount taken, and the time of ingestion.

What other information should I know?

  • Regular Follow-ups: Attend regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider. They will monitor your response to quizartinib and assess for any potential side effects.
  • Inform Healthcare Providers: Inform all healthcare providers (doctors, dentists, and others) about the medications you are taking, including quizartinib.
  • Drug Interactions: Be aware of potential drug interactions. Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs you are taking.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider. Quizartinib may pose risks during pregnancy.
  • Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider of any known allergies or adverse reactions to medications.
  • Regular Monitoring: Expect regular monitoring of blood tests and other parameters to assess the effectiveness of the treatment and check for side effects.
  • Contact Information: Keep emergency contact information readily available, including the contact details of your healthcare provider and nearest emergency services.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and consult them for any specific guidance or concerns related to quizartinib. If you have questions about the storage, disposal, or any other aspect of the medication, your healthcare team is the best source of information tailored to your individual circumstances.

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