Frequently Asked Questions About Tasigna
Read any medication provided by your pharmacist before starting nilotinib and every time you get a refill. Unless told otherwise by your doctor, avoid eating grapefruit while you are on Tasigna. Grapefruit can increase the amount of some medications in your bloodstream.
Take nilotinib orally on an empty stomach, generally twice daily about 12 hours apart by mouth on an empty stomach or as instructed by your doctor. Swallow the capsule whole with a glass of water. Don’t break, open, or chew the capsules. Don’t eat food for 2 hours before or 1 hour after taking nilotinib. Taking this medication with food can increase the amount of the drug in your body which increases the risk of serious side effects. If you’re unable to swallow the capsules, you can open the capsule and sprinkle the contents into 1 teaspoon of applesauce. Only use 1 teaspoon of applesauce.
Don’t sprinkle the contents onto any other food. Drink plenty of fluid during treatment with Tasigna unless your doctor has told you otherwise. If you also take an antacid take it 2 hours before or after nilotinib. If you also take an H2 blocker, take it 10 hours before or 2 hours after nilotinib. This dosage is based on your medical condition, laboratory tests, other medications you take, and your response to treatment.
Do not change anything about how you take any of your medications without talking to your doctor first. Women who are or may become pregnant should not handle Tasigna as it can be absorbed through the skin and lungs.
There are some medications that should never be used together because of the way they interact with each other. However, sometimes even though two medications interact they may still be used together. Your doctor will take the necessary precautions. Below are some medications that may interact with Tasigna:
This is not an exhaustive list of drug interactions. Share a list of all the medications you take with your doctor so that they can monitor for drug interactions. If you have questions about Tasigna or any other medications you can reach out to our customer care team to be connected with a pharmacist at 1-844-416-4282.
Nausea, headache, constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, and tiredness may occur. If these effects worsen or persist, tell your pharmacist or doctor promptly. People using Tasigna may experience serious side effects. Your doctor has prescribed nilotinib because they have decided the the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring done by your doctor can decrease your risk of side effects. Nilotinib decreases bone marrow function, an effect which can lead to a low number of blood cells like white cells, platelets, and red cells. This effect can cause anemia, cause easy bruising/bleeding, or decrease your body’s ability to fight an infection.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you develop any of the following serious symptoms: pale skin, severe tiredness, signs of infection, easy bleeding or bruising. Because of the rapid destruction of cancer cells Tasigna can cause side effects. If you have: low back/side pain, muscle spasms/weakness, or signs of kidney problems.
If you experience any of these serious side effects talk to your doctor right away: toe/joint pain, unusual/rapid weight gain, severe abdominal/stomach pain, toe/joint pain, signs of liver disease, symptoms of high blood sugar, and signs of liver disease.
If you have any of these very serious side effects get medical help immediately: signs of a stroke, signs of a heart attack, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, signs of bleeding in the brain, signs of blood circulation disease, fainting, seizures, signs of a heart attack, severe dizziness.
Serious allergic reactions to Tasigna are rare. However if you notice any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction get medical help right away: itching/swelling, trouble breathing, rash, severe dizziness. This is not a complete list of possible side effects so contact your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any effects not listed above.
Tasigna can rarely cause serious irregular heartbeats. Nilotinib shouldn’t be used in people who have low blood levels of certain minerals (magnesium, potassium) or QT prolongation. In order to lower your risk of experiencing this, your doctor will order blood tests before and during treatment with Tasigna. You should have an EKG before starting Tasigna.
The EKG should happen again 7 days after your first dose, whenever your dose is changed, and periodically when you take Tasigna. In order to decrease the risk of this effect, don’t eat for 2 hours before or 1 hour after taking your medication. Other foods and drugs might increase the risk of an irregular heartbeat. Keep a list of all the products you take and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.
DISCLAIMER: This information is provided as a summary for consumers. It does not contain all possible information for Tasigna and is not intended to replace medical advice. If you have any questions about medications, your medical condition, or treatment, talk to your doctor. You should not ignore or delay in seeking medical advice because of the information presented here.