Venetoclax is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat cancer of the blood and lymph tissue.
Take this medicine 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 together with food or immediately after a meal. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Venetoclax must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better/well. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it has been more than 8 hours, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not take Venetoclax with medicines to treat fungal, viral or bacterial infection, depression, and anxiety. Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
Alert your doctor if you recently had or are about to have a live virus vaccination, as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- swollen lymph nodes
- kidney disease
- liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Venetoclax to an elderly.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor may need to do routine blood tests to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
Venetoclax may cause any of the following side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation.
Other side effects include any of the following: back pain, headache, cough, fever, tiredness, swelling of hands, ankles or feet; muscle weakness, cramping or numbness, fast or irregular heartbeat.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- abdominal pain, abnormal heartbeat or seizures
- signs of infection e.g. fever, chills, rapid breathing
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
This medicine will cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Alert your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Alert your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Do not take Venetoclax with the following medicines:
- medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole
- antibiotics e.g. clarithromycin, erythromycin
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. efavirenz, etravirine, ritonavir
- medicines for epilepsy (fits) e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin
- medicine to treat TB (lung infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin
- medicine to treat sleep disorder e.g. modafinil
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Venetoclax.
Avoid vaccinations during treatment or 3 months after treatment with Venetoclax. It is recommended for children to be up to date with all vaccinations before using 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.
Avoid alcohol. Avoid Seville oranges, starfruit, and St. John’s wort.
Avoid excessive consumption (more than 1 litre a day) of grapefruit juice.
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.