Dasatinib (Oral Route)

1 Dasatinib (Oral Route): A Summary

Brand Name:

Sprycel

Dasatinib, a kinase inhibitor, is used in the treatment of different types of leukemia, which is a condition where the body produces immature or abnormal leukocytes. It is also classified as an antineoplastic. 

Dasatinib works by stunting the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed by the body. You can only buy this medication with a doctor’s prescription. The oral form of dasatinib is sold as a tablet.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before you agree to treatment with dasatinib, you and your physician need to discuss the different risks and benefits involved. You need to consider a number of factors to make sure that this medication is the right fit. 

You should inform your doctor if you’ve had allergic reactions to dasatinib or similar medications in the past. You also need to tell him/her if you have allergies food, preservatives, dyes, animals, or other medicines. The effects of dasatinib in children have not been adequately studied, so safety and efficacy have not been established. 

However, enough research has been done regarding the effects of this medicine on the elderly. In those studies, dasatinib did not cause age-specific problems. Keep in mind, however, that geriatric patients are more sensitive. Studies on pregnant women have found that dasatinib can harm the fetus. Although the effects of dasatinib on the breastfeeding infant as well as mild production have not been adequately studied, lactating women should not take this medicine. 

Dasatinib also interacts with other medicines. It should not be used concomitantly with amifampridine, bepridil, fluconazole, mesoridazine, pimozide, saquinavir, sparfloxacin, thioridazine and ziprasidone. Concomitant use of the following can put you at risk of developing side effects: basic aluminum carbonate, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, calcium, calcium carbonate, dihydroxyaluminum sodium carbonate, dihydroxyaluminum aminoacetate, magaldrate, simvastatin, and sodium bicarbonate

Simultaneous use of the following is usually not recommended but can be necessary: alfuzosin, anagrelide, apomorphine, carbamazepine, citalopram, dabrafenib, disopyramide, erythromycin, flecainide, gemifloxacin, hydroxychloroquine, moxifloxacin, nortriptyline, paliperidone, phenobarbital, protriptyline, ranitidine, ritonavir, monobasic sodium phosphate, solifenacin, sotalol, telithromycin, triptorelin, vemurafenib, vinflunine and voriconazole. 

You should avoid grapefruit juice while taking dasatinib. Inform your physician if you have any of the following conditions: anemia, arrhythmia, bleeding problems, congenital long QT syndrome, edema, neutropenia, palpitations, stomach bleeding, thrombocytopenia, infection, and lactose intolerance.

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3 Proper Usage

Follow your physician’s instructions regarding dosage and timing. You should not discontinue dasatinib without first consulting your doctor. Doing so can put you at risk of developing side effects. You can take dasatinib with or without food but you should always swallow it whole. 

Do not chew, crush, or cut the tablet. Take antacids at least 2 hours before or after you take dasatinib. The dose of this medicine will depend on the condition. For adults with chronic phase CML, the dose is usually 100 mg at first. 

This may be increased or decreased by your physician. For adults with accelerated or blast crisis CML or Ph+ ALL, the dose normally is 140 mg and may be adjusted accordingly by your doctor. If you forget a dose, skip it and resume normal timing. 

Never double dose. Store your medications in a sealed container and place it somewhere children cannot reach. Do not expose your medicines to direct light, moisture or heat.

4 Precautions to Take

Go to your follow-up appointments so your healthcare provider can check on your progress. Dasatinib can lower the number of white blood cells in your body making you prone to infection and bleeding. You should take extra care so you don’t catch anything. 

You can also wear a face mask for better protection. You should avoid strenuous activities that may cause injury and bleeding. Watch out for signs of fluid retention which include rattling breathing, decrease in amount of urine, shortness of breath, troubled breathing at rest, swelling of the lower and upper limbs, or weight gain. 

Check with your doctor right away if you notice any of those. Dasatinib can also cause heart problems. Inform for physician immediately if you notice any of the following: decreased urine output, chest discomfort, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, swelling of the lower limbs, troubled breathing, or unusual weakness. 

This medicine can also put you at risk of developing pulmonary arterial hypertension. Signs and symptoms include shortness of breath, tiredness, , troubled breathing, or swelling all over your body. Consult your doctor right away. 

Dasatinib can cause tumor lysis syndrome as well. Watch out for signs including joint pain/stiffness/swelling, rapid weight gain, pain in the lower back/side/stomach, decrease or change in urine amount, swelling of the feet or lower legs, or unusual weakness

Do not take nonprescription medicines or supplements without consulting with your doctor first.

5 Potential Side Effects

There are various side effects associated with dasatinib use. 

The most common ones that need medical attention includes: 

  • Bloody/black stools
  • body aches
  • chest pain
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • ear congestion
  • fainting, headache
  • loss of voice
  • nasal congestion
  • painful difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • paralysis
  • runny nose
  • severe stomach pain
  • sneezing
  • stabbing pain
  • tightness in the chest
  • troubled breathing
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds, and 
  • weight gain

Common side effects that usually don’t need medical attention include abdominal pain, bleeding gums, cracked lips, diarrhea, difficulty with swallowing, itching skin, loss of appetite, muscle/bone pain, muscle stiffness, pain in the joints, swollen joints, vomiting, and weight loss. Check with your doctor right away if you experience side effects that are not listed here or if your condition gets worse.

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