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Dabrafenib

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
BRAF Kinase Inhibitor Tafinlar Cancer-related

Dabrafenib - What is it for

Dabrafenib is used to treat melanoma (a type of skin cancer) or non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is often given with another medication called Trametinib.

Your doctor will check for a gene mutation before starting you on this.

Dabrafenib - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Dabrafenib cause?

Common side effects include:

  • Dry skin, rash and itch
    • Moisturize your skin daily.
    • Avoid too much exposure to the sun as it may make the rash worse. Use sunscreen and covered clothing if you need to be under the sun for a long period of time.
  • Diarrhea
    • Drink plenty of clear fluids to replace those lost (2 litres everyday).
    • Avoid oily or spicy food and milk or dairy products.
  • Nausea (especially when taken together with Trametinib)
    • Take small, frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Feeling tired and lack of energy
    • Do not drive or operate machinery when you feel tired.
  • Joint or muscle ache
    • Apply a warm compress to the area that aches.
  • Mild fever
    • Drink more water to help cool your body down.
    • Place a cold towel on your forehead.
  • Hair loss

Rare but serious side effects include:

  • Fast heartbeat, chest pain, or unusual weakness, tiredness or light-headedness
  • Sudden onset of cough or shortness of breath
  • Fever of 38°C and above, especially with chills, pain or difficulty in passing urine
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising or black sticky stools
  • Dark urine or light coloured stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellowing of your eyes or skin
  • Very bad pain around the stomach area
  • Changes in eyesight or eye pain
  • New skin lesions
  • Redness, swelling, tenderness or peeling of skin on hands or feet

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Dabrafenib, what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication
  • You or your partner becomes pregnant or is planning for pregnancy
    • You should use effective birth control during and for 2 weeks after stopping Dabrafenib (or 4 months if used in combination with trametinib).
  • You are breastfeeding
    • Do not breastfeed during and for 2 weeks after stopping treatment (or 4 months if used in combination with trametinib).
  • You have any other medical conditions such as heart problems, diabetes or G6PD deficiency.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Dabrafenib?

​Avoid taking grapefruit when you are taking this medication as grapefruit may interact with your medication and increase the risk of side-effects.

Dabrafenib - Dosage and How to Use

How should Dabrafenib be used?

  • Take Dabrafenib two times a day, space about 12 hours between each dose.
  • Take it on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food.
  • Do not break open or crush the capsule. Swallow the capsule whole.
    • Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have difficulty swallowing.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However if it is less than 6 hours to your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other medications, including oral contraceptives, supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies. Some of them may affect how Dabrafenib works.

What should I do if I overdose?

Dabrafenib - Handling

How should I handle Dabrafenib safely?

Dabrafenib - Storage

How should I store Dabrafenib?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Dabrafenib safely?

Pack Dabrafenib into a bag and bring it back to the pharmacy where you received it from.                    

Dabrafenib - Additional Information

​You may refer to the following website if you need more information: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/

  • Updated on Monday, September 30, 2019
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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