Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Tasigna

Descriptions


Nilotinib is used to treat different types of leukemia. Leukemia is a type of cancer where the body makes too many abnormal white blood cells. It belongs to the general group of medicines known as antineoplastics or cancer medicines.

Nilotinib interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed. Since the growth of normal cells may also be affected by nilotinib, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Other effects may not be serious but may cause concern.

Before you begin treatment with nilotinib, you and your doctor should talk about the benefits this medicine will do as well as the possible risks of using it.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Capsule

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of nilotinib in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of nilotinib in the elderly.

Pregnancy

Information about this nilotinib-oral-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters D Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.

Breastfeeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Amifampridine
  • Dronedarone
  • Fluconazole
  • Mesoridazine
  • Pimozide
  • Piperaquine
  • Posaconazole
  • Saquinavir
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Thioridazine
  • Ziprasidone

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Abiraterone Acetate
  • Afatinib
  • Alfuzosin
  • Aliskiren
  • Ambrisentan
  • Amiodarone
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amoxapine
  • Apomorphine
  • Aprepitant
  • Arsenic Trioxide
  • Asenapine
  • Atazanavir
  • Azithromycin
  • Bedaquiline
  • Boceprevir
  • Bosutinib
  • Captopril
  • Carbamazepine
  • Carvedilol
  • Chloroquine
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Cisapride
  • Citalopram
  • Clarithromycin
  • Clomipramine
  • Clozapine
  • Cobicistat
  • Colchicine
  • Conivaptan
  • Crizotinib
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Dabigatran Etexilate
  • Dabrafenib
  • Dasatinib
  • Desipramine
  • Dexamethasone
  • Dexlansoprazole
  • Digoxin
  • Diltiazem
  • Disopyramide
  • Dofetilide
  • Dolasetron
  • Domperidone
  • Droperidol
  • Enzalutamide
  • Erythromycin
  • Eslicarbazepine Acetate
  • Esomeprazole
  • Everolimus
  • Felodipine
  • Fentanyl
  • Fexofenadine
  • Fingolimod
  • Flecainide
  • Fluoxetine
  • Formoterol
  • Fosaprepitant
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Granisetron
  • Halofantrine
  • Haloperidol
  • Ibutilide
  • Iloperidone
  • Imatinib
  • Imipramine
  • Indinavir
  • Itraconazole
  • Ivabradine
  • Ketoconazole
  • Lansoprazole
  • Lapatinib
  • Levofloxacin
  • Loperamide
  • Lopinavir
  • Lumefantrine
  • Methadone
  • Midazolam
  • Mifepristone
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Nefazodone
  • Nelfinavir
  • Norfloxacin
  • Nortriptyline
  • Octreotide
  • Ofloxacin
  • Omeprazole
  • Ondansetron
  • Paliperidone
  • Pantoprazole
  • Pasireotide
  • Pazopanib
  • Perflutren Lipid Microsphere
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Pixantrone
  • Pomalidomide
  • Primidone
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Promethazine
  • Propafenone
  • Propranolol
  • Protriptyline
  • Quercetin
  • Quetiapine
  • Quinidine
  • Quinine
  • Rabeprazole
  • Ranolazine
  • Rifabutin
  • Rifampin
  • Rifapentine
  • Ritonavir
  • Rivaroxaban
  • Romidepsin
  • Salmeterol
  • Saxagliptin
  • Silodosin
  • Simeprevir
  • Sirolimus
  • Sitagliptin
  • Sodium Phosphate
  • Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
  • Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
  • Solifenacin
  • Sorafenib
  • Sotalol
  • St John's Wort
  • Sunitinib
  • Tacrolimus
  • Talinolol
  • Telaprevir
  • Telavancin
  • Telithromycin
  • Terfenadine
  • Tetrabenazine
  • Ticagrelor
  • Tipranavir
  • Tizanidine
  • Tocophersolan
  • Tolvaptan
  • Toremifene
  • Trabectedin
  • Trazodone
  • Trifluoperazine
  • Trimipramine
  • Vandetanib
  • Vardenafil
  • Vemurafenib
  • Vilanterol
  • Vinblastine
  • Vincristine
  • Vincristine Sulfate Liposome
  • Vinflunine
  • Voriconazole

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • food
  • Grapefruit Juice

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Blood or bone marrow problems (e.g., anemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia) or
  • Heart disease or
  • Hyperkalemia (high potassium in the blood) or
  • Hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood) or
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood) or
  • Hypophosphatemia (low phosphate in the blood) or
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., long QT syndrome) or
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) or
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Lactose intolerance—Use with caution. This medicine contains lactose.
  • Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of nilotinib from the body.
  • Total gastrectomy (surgery that involves the removal of the entire stomach)—The effects of nilotinib may be decreased in patients who had this procedure.

Proper Use

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Do not change the dose or stop using this medicine without checking first with your doctor.

This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the medication guide if you do not have one.

It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal).

Swallow the capsule whole with water. If you have trouble swallowing the capsule, the capsules can be opened and the contents can be sprinkled in one teaspoon of applesauce. This mixture must be taken immediately within 15 minutes and should not be stored for later use.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (capsules):
    • For the treatment of Ph+ CML-CP and CML-AP after other treatments have failed:
      • Adults—400 milligrams (mg) two times a day, with about 12 hours between the two doses. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For the treatment of newly diagnosed Ph+ CML-CP:
      • Adults—300 milligrams (mg) two times a day, with about 12 hours between the two doses. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions

If you will be taking this medicine for a long time, it is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

This medicine can cause changes in the heart rhythm, such as a condition called QT prolongation. It may change the way your heart beats and cause fainting or serious side effects in some patients. Check with your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeats.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Nilotinib can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:

  • If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
  • Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising; black, tarry stools; blood in the urine or stools; or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
  • Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
  • Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
  • Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.

This medicine may cause a serious type of reaction called tumor lysis syndrome. Your doctor may give you a medicine to help prevent this. Call your doctor right away if you have a decrease or change in urine amount; joint pain, stiffness, or swelling; lower back, side, or stomach pain; a rapid weight gain; swelling of the feet or lower legs; or unusual tiredness or weakness.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.

Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may change the amount of this medicine that is absorbed in the body.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  1. Abdominal or stomach pain or tenderness
  2. black, tarry stools
  3. bleeding gums
  4. blood in the urine or stools
  5. blurred vision
  6. bone pain
  7. clay colored stools
  8. confusion
  9. convulsions
  10. cough or hoarseness
  11. dark urine
  12. decreased appetite
  13. difficult or labored breathing
  14. dry mouth
  15. fainting
  16. fever or chills
  17. flushed, dry skin
  18. fruit-like breath odor
  19. headache
  20. increased hunger
  21. increased thirst
  22. increased urination
  23. irregular heartbeat, recurrent
  24. itching
  25. loss of appetite
  26. lower back or side pain
  27. muscle aches, cramps, or pain
  28. nausea and vomiting
  29. no blood pressure
  30. no breathing
  31. no pulse
  32. numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in the hands or feet
  33. painful or difficult urination
  34. pale skin
  35. pinpoint red spots on the skin
  36. seizures
  37. shortness of breath
  38. skin rash
  39. sore throat
  40. stuffy or runny nose
  41. sweating
  42. swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs
  43. tightness in the chest
  44. trembling
  45. troubled breathing with exertion
  46. ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  47. unexplained weight loss
  48. unusual bleeding or bruising
  49. unusual tiredness or weakness
  50. weakness and heaviness of the legs
  51. wheezing
  52. yellow eyes or skin

Less common

  1. Coma
  2. decreased urine output
  3. dizziness
  4. fast heartbeat
  5. mood or mental changes
  6. muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
  7. nervousness
  8. numbness and tingling around the mouth, fingertips, or lips
  9. tremor

Less common or rare

  1. Bladder pain
  2. bloody or cloudy urine
  3. body aches or pain
  4. constipation
  5. cough producing mucus
  6. depressed mood
  7. difficult, burning, or painful urination
  8. dry skin and hair
  9. ear congestion
  10. feeling cold
  11. frequent urge to urinate
  12. hair loss
  13. loss of voice
  14. muscle stiffness
  15. nasal congestion
  16. pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  17. sensitivity to heat
  18. slowed heartbeat
  19. sneezing
  20. swelling or puffiness of the face
  21. tender, swollen glands in the neck
  22. trouble with sleeping
  23. trouble with swallowing
  24. weight gain
  25. weight loss
  26. white patches in the mouth or throat or on the tongue
  27. white patches with diaper rash

Incidence not known

  1. Pain or swelling of the treated skin
  2. rapid, shallow breathing

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Back pain
  2. burning, itching, and pain in hairy areas
  3. diarrhea
  4. difficulty with moving
  5. lack or loss of strength
  6. muscle spasms
  7. pain in the arms or legs
  8. pain in the joints
  9. pus at the root of the hair
  10. swollen joints

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.