Sprycel®

Posted on June 30th, 2010 by

Class: Biological Therapy

Generic Name: Dasatinib
Trade Name: Sprycel®

How is this drug used? Sprycel is used for the treatment of adults with newly diagnosed, Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML) in chronic phase, as well as adults with Ph+ CML who are resistant to or intolerant of prior therapy including Gleevec® (imatinib). Sprycel is also approved for the treatment of adults with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL) with resistance or intolerance to prior therapy.

What is the mechanism of action? Sprycel reduces the activity of one or more proteins that are responsible for the uncontrolled growth of leukemia cells in patients with Ph+ CML or Ph+ ALL.

How is Sprycel given (administered)? Sprycel is administered orally in the form of a tablet. The dose depends on the type and stage of leukemia. Sprycel can be taken with or without a meal. Tablets should be swallowed whole.

How are patients monitored? Patients will usually have scheduled meetings with their healthcare provider while they are being treated with Sprycel.  Typically, blood will be drawn to check levels of blood cells and to monitor functions of some organ systems. Patients may also undergo physical examinations, scans or other measures to assess side effects and response to therapy.

What are some of the potentially serious side effects of treatment with Sprycel?

  • Low blood cell counts
  • Bleeding
  • Fluid retention
  • Heart problems
  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension (high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs)

What are some of the other common side effects of treatment with Sprycel ?

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Skin rash
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Infections

This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed here. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.

Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should check with their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.
What can patients do to help alleviate or prevent discomfort and side effects?

  • Pay careful attention to the physician’s instructions and inform the physician of any side effects.
  • Maintain adequate rest and nutrition.
  • If possible, avoid large crowds or people who are sick or not feeling well
  • Wash hands often to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Avoid activities that may cause injury or bruising.

Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?

  • Patients should inform their physician of any other medication they are taking (whether prescription or over-the-counter, including vitamins, herbs, etc.) as they may interact with treatment.
  • Patients should inform their physician if they are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a family in the near future. This drug may cause birth defects. It is important to use some kind of birth control while undergoing treatment. It is not known if Sprycel passes into breast milk.
  • Patients should inform their physician about all medical conditions, including heart problems, liver problems, lung problems, problems with your immune system, or lactose intolerance.

When should patients notify their physician?

Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects that bother you or don’t go away. Also watch for and immediately report symptoms of potentially serious side effects such as infection (fever), bleeding (unusual bleeding or bruising of the skin, bright red or dark tar-like stools, a decrease in level of consciousness, headache, or change in speech), fluid retention (swelling all over your body, weight gain, shortness of breath and cough), and pulmonary arterial hypertension (shortness of breath, tiredness, or fluid retention).

What is a package insert?
A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug for healthcare providers and consumers.  A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the specific drug. By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.

Copyright © 2016 CancerConnect Last updated 10/11.

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Tags: Biological Therapy, S

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