Precautions

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

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

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control during treatment with this medicine and for at least 14 days after the last dose to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

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. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child have a fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat. Your doctor will check your heartbeat with an ECG test (electrocardiogram) before, during, and 7 days after starting treatment with nilotinib.

After at least 3 years of treatment with this medicine, your doctor may do certain tests to check if you continue to show no symptoms of your cancer (remission) and may let you stop taking it. This is called treatment free remission (TFR). However, you may need to restart treatment, at a later time, if you are no longer in remission.

This medicine may cause heart or blood vessel problems, such as a decreased blood flow to the legs, heart, or brain. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have chest pain or discomfort, numbness or weakness, change in the color of the legs, leg pain, or problems with walking or speaking.

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 right away 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 right away 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.

Pancreatitis and other pancreas problems may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have sudden and severe stomach pain with nausea and vomiting.

Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

This medicine may cause a serious type of reaction called tumor lysis syndrome. Your doctor may give you or your child a medicine to help prevent this. Call your doctor right away if you or your child have a decrease or change in the amount of your urine, 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.

This medicine may cause fluid retention (edema). Tell your doctor right away if you or your child have bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet, rapid weight gain, or trouble breathing.

This medicine may affect your child's growth and development. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

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 (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.