Dacomitinib is used to treat a certain type of lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer) that has spread to the other lung or other parts of the body. It is used in individuals who have certain changes (mutations) in a gene called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).
Take Dacomitinib 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.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water.
If you vomit after taking Dacomitinib, do not take another dose. Take the next dose at your normal scheduled time.
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.
Dacomitinib 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, do not make up for the missed dose. Take only at your next scheduled dose.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with Dacomitinib and for at least 17 days after stopping the treatment.
Inform your doctor if you have severe liver disease.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon.
It is important that you do not get pregnant while being treated with Dacomitinib. You must use proven contraceptive method during treatment and for at least 17 days after your last dose. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor or pharmacist.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- EGFR gene testing and pregnancy tests must be done before treatment to know if Dacomitinib is suited for you to take.
- Routine test to check your liver function may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have this test.
- Regular monitoring for signs and symptoms of lung or breathing problems and skin reactions may also be needed.
Dacomitinib 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 need to see clearly.
This medicine may cause skin rash, redness, dryness, or peeling. Sun exposure may worsen these skin reactions. Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Use a moisturiser regularly, apply sunscreen and wear protective clothing when going outdoors.
Other side effects include any of the following: eye redness or irritation, cough, mouth sores or ulcers, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, taste alteration, loss of appetite, weight loss, difficulty sleeping, muscle or joint pain, weakness, hair loss, and nail problems.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- new or worsening shortness of breath, cough, fever
- severe diarrhoea or loose stools causing dehydration (excessive water loss from the body)
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, abdominal pain, dark coloured urine, swelling in the legs and ankles
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 and pharmacist if you are taking dextromethorphan (medicine used to relieve cough).
Avoid taking this medicine with certain stomach medicines (e.g. omeprazole, rabeprazole) as these could reduce the effectiveness of Dacomitinib. Alternatively, you may take this medicine with locally-acting antacids or medicines that reduce stomach acid production (e.g. ranitidine). Take your Dacomitinib dose at least 2 or 6 hours before or 10 hours after you have taken the antacid or the medicine that reduces stomach acid production.
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.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired tablets to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.