Dabrafenib is used on its own or together with other medicine to treat a type of skin cancer (known as melanoma) that has spread to other parts of the body or which cannot be removed by surgery.
This medicine is also used together with other medicine to treat certain type of lung cancer (known as non-small cell lung cancer), and cancer of the thyroid glands (known as anaplastic thyroid cancer) that has spread to other parts of the body.
Take Dabrafenib exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take it on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Swallow the capsule whole with a glass of water. Do not chew, crush or open the capsule.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition and response to the medication.
Dabrafenib must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
If you miss a dose and it is less than 6 hours late, take the missed dose as soon as you remember and return to your normal dosing schedule.
If it is more than 6 hours late, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose to make up for a missed dose.
If you often forget to take your medicine, inform your doctor and pharmacist.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- G6PD deficiency (an inherited blood disorder that affects the red blood cell)
- other types of cancer
- heart problems e.g. heart rhythm disorder
- eye problems
- lung or breathing problems
- stomach problems
- kidney disease
- liver disease
Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
It is important that you do not get pregnant while taking this medicine. You must use proven birth control methods during Dabrafenib therapy and for at least 2 weeks after stopping the treatment, or for at least 16 weeks after the last dose of the other combination medicine. Birth control medicines containing hormones may not be effective. You may wish to discuss other reliable methods of birth control with your doctor.
Some genetic traits can affect an individual’s response to this medicine. Your doctor may perform genetic testing before giving you Dabrafenib to know if it is suitable for you.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Pregnancy tests and skin evaluation must be done before you start your treatment with Dabrafenib.
- Routine tests (e.g. complete blood count, liver and kidney function tests, blood sugar and electrolytes, eye examination) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
- Regular monitoring for signs and symptoms of infection, bleeding, and skin, eye or lung problems may also be needed.
Dabrafenib may cause tiredness or some problems with your eyesight. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or see clearly.
Other side effects may include any of the following: headache, dizziness, cough, sore throat, flu-like illness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, stomach pain, loss of appetite, muscle or joint pain, chills, hair loss, sensitivity to sunlight, and dryness, redness, itching or thickening of the skin.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swollen face, eyes, or mouth
- persistently high fever with dizziness
- signs of heart problems e.g. shortness of breath, chest pain, light-headedness, irregular heartbeat, swelling in your leg accompanied by redness and warmth
- abnormal skin growths e.g. new warts, skin sores or red bumps that bleeds or does not heal, changes in the size or colour of moles
- eye problems e.g. eye pain, irritation, or redness; blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light
- signs of high sugar in the blood e.g. increased thirst, urinating more often or increased amount than usual
- signs of bleeding e.g. vomiting blood or vomit coffee-ground-like vomitus, coughing up blood, black, red or tarry stools, blood in the urine
- unusual bleeding or bruising e.g. bleeding that takes a long time to stop; too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth; large bruises or several bruises
- fever with persistent sore throat or mouth ulcers
- signs of liver problems e.g. yellowing of the skin or eyes, persistent stomach pain, dark coloured urine
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin, acenocoumarol
- medicines for high blood pressure e.g. nifedipine, felodipine, verapamil, diltiazem
- medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. ketoconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. atazanavir, efavirenz, saquinavir, ritonavir, nelfinavir
- strong painkillers e.g. fentanyl, methadone
- cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. gemfibrozil, atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin
- certain antibiotics e.g. clarithromycin, doxycycline, telithromycin
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
- medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin, tacrolimus
- medicine to treat TB (infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin
- medicine for heart disease e.g. digoxin
- medicine for mood disorders e.g. haloperidol
- St. John’s wort (herbal medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Dabrafenib.
Inform your doctor if you are currently taking birth control pills. You should not stop or start any birth control pills without first informing your doctor. Ask your doctor about using non-hormonal birth control as an alternative while being treated with this medicine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Protect from moisture and light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired capsules to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.