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Tukysa (Generic Tucatinib)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Tukysa (tucatinib) is a prescription medication primarily used in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer, which is an aggressive form of breast cancer that overexpresses the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Tukysa is typically prescribed in combination with other medications such as trastuzumab and capecitabine for patients who have received prior treatment with HER2-targeted therapies.

How should this medicine be used?

Tukysa works by inhibiting the activity of the HER2 protein, which can help slow down or stop the growth of cancer cells. Here’s how Tukysa is commonly used:

  • Dosage: The typical dosage of Tukysa is 300 mg taken orally twice daily (morning and evening) with or without food.
  • Combination Therapy: Tukysa is usually prescribed in combination with trastuzumab (another HER2-targeted therapy) and capecitabine (a chemotherapy drug).
  • Treatment Duration: The treatment regimen with Tukysa is usually continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity occurs.
  • Adherence: It’s crucial to take Tukysa exactly as prescribed by the healthcare provider. Missing doses or taking extra doses can affect treatment efficacy and increase the risk of side effects.
  • Monitoring: Patients taking Tukysa will typically undergo regular monitoring by their healthcare provider to assess the effectiveness of the treatment and to manage any potential side effects.
  • Possible Side Effects: Like any medication, Tukysa can cause side effects. Common side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, liver problems, and hand-foot syndrome (redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet). Patients should report any side effects to their healthcare provider promptly.
  • Precautions: Before starting Tukysa, patients should inform their healthcare provider about any other medications they are taking (including over-the-counter and herbal supplements) and any medical conditions they have, particularly liver or kidney problems.

As with any cancer treatment, it’s essential for patients to have regular discussions with their healthcare team about their treatment plan, including the benefits, potential side effects, and any concerns they may have.

Other uses for this medicine

Tukysa (tucatinib) is primarily used for the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. However, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional or refer to updated medical literature for any potential new uses or clinical trials involving Tukysa beyond its current approved indication.

What special precautions should I follow?

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

  • Medical History: Before starting Tukysa treatment, inform your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, including any allergies, pre-existing medical conditions, especially liver or kidney problems, and any medications (prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal supplements) you are currently taking.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Tukysa may cause harm to an unborn baby, so it’s crucial to avoid becoming pregnant while taking this medication. Additionally, breastfeeding is not recommended during Tukysa treatment and for at least one week after the last dose due to potential risks to the nursing infant.
  • Liver Function Monitoring: Tukysa can affect liver function, so regular monitoring of liver function tests (such as AST, ALT, and bilirubin levels) is typically recommended during treatment. Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience symptoms of liver problems, such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), dark urine, or persistent nausea.
  • Diarrhea Management: Diarrhea is a common side effect of Tukysa treatment. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to manage diarrhea, and it’s essential to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Inform your healthcare provider promptly if you experience severe or persistent diarrhea, as it may require treatment interruption or dose adjustment.
  • Hand-Foot Syndrome: Tukysa may cause hand-foot syndrome, which is characterized by redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Taking preventive measures such as wearing comfortable shoes and gloves and avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures can help manage this side effect.
  • Drug Interactions: Tukysa may interact with other medications, potentially affecting their efficacy or increasing the risk of side effects. Inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking to avoid potential interactions.
  • Regular Follow-up: Attend all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider for monitoring of treatment efficacy, side effects management, and adjustments to the treatment plan if necessary.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully regarding the use of Tukysa and report any concerning symptoms or side effects promptly for appropriate management.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Regarding special dietary instructions for Tukysa, there are no specific dietary restrictions associated with this medication. However, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated, especially if diarrhea occurs as a side effect.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Tukysa, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the scheduled time. 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?

Tukysa (tucatinib) can cause various side effects, ranging from mild to severe. It’s essential to be aware of these potential side effects and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider. Common side effects of Tukysa may include:

  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea is one of the most common side effects of Tukysa. It may range from mild to severe and can sometimes be accompanied by dehydration. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to manage diarrhea.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Some patients may experience nausea and vomiting while taking Tukysa. Your healthcare provider may prescribe anti-nausea medications to help alleviate these symptoms.
  • Fatigue: Tiredness or fatigue is another common side effect reported by patients taking Tukysa. Getting plenty of rest and practicing relaxation techniques may help manage fatigue.
  • Liver Problems: Tukysa can affect liver function, leading to elevated liver enzymes and, in rare cases, severe liver damage. Symptoms of liver problems may include jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), dark urine, and abdominal pain. It’s essential to notify your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any signs of liver problems.
  • Hand-Foot Syndrome: Hand-foot syndrome, characterized by redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, is another potential side effect of Tukysa. Taking preventive measures such as wearing comfortable shoes and gloves and avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures can help manage this side effect.
  • Decreased Appetite: Some patients may experience a decreased appetite while taking Tukysa. It’s essential to maintain adequate nutrition and hydration during treatment.
  • Hair Loss: Hair loss or thinning may occur as a side effect of Tukysa treatment, although it is typically mild compared to some chemotherapy drugs.
  • Rash: Some patients may develop a rash while taking Tukysa. Inform your healthcare provider if you experience any skin changes or allergic reactions.

These are not all the possible side effects of Tukysa. Other less common side effects may occur. It’s essential to report any new or worsening symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly. 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:

  • Storage: Store Tukysa tablets at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). Keep the medication in its original container, away from moisture and heat. Do not store Tukysa in the bathroom. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Dispose of unused or expired Tukysa tablets properly according to local regulations or guidelines. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them down the drain unless instructed to do so. Consult your pharmacist or healthcare provider for proper disposal methods, such as using a drug take-back program or a medication disposal kit.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of an overdose or emergency situation involving Tukysa, seek immediate medical attention or contact a poison control center (1-800-222-1222 in the United States). Overdose symptoms may include severe diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and other adverse reactions. Do not attempt to treat an overdose without medical guidance.

What other information should I know?

  • Tukysa tablets should be swallowed whole with water, and they can be taken with or without food.
  • Inform all healthcare providers involved in your care, including dentists and specialists, that you are taking Tukysa.
  • Attend all scheduled appointments for monitoring and follow-up with your healthcare provider.
  • Keep a list of all medications you are taking, including Tukysa, and share it with your healthcare provider to avoid potential drug interactions.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any new or worsening symptoms, side effects, or concerns while taking Tukysa.
  • Follow all instructions provided by your healthcare provider regarding Tukysa treatment, including dosing schedule, dietary recommendations, and precautions.

By following these guidelines and staying informed about Tukysa, you can help ensure safe and effective treatment for your condition.

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