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nilotinib (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking nilotinib (Tasigna)?

You should not use nilotinib if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • low blood levels of potassium or magnesium; or
  • a history of "Long QT syndrome."

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need dose adjustment or special tests:

  • heart disease or heart rhythm disorder;
  • liver disease;
  • a personal history of pancreatitis;
  • a family history of "Long QT syndrome"; or
  • if your stomach has been surgically removed (total gastrectomy).

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use nilotinib if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether nilotinib passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking nilotinib.

Nilotinib capsules may contain lactose. Talk to your doctor before using this medication if you have galactose intolerance, or severe problems with lactose (milk sugar).

How should I take nilotinib (Tasigna)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Nilotinib is usually taken every 12 hours. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Take nilotinib on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating. Do not take nilotinib with food.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

Do not break or open a nilotinib capsule. Swallow the pill whole.

You may open the nilotinib capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood and bone marrow will need to be tested often. Your heart function will also need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). This machine measures electrical activity of the heart. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

Do not stop using nilotinib or change your dose without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking the medication too soon, your condition may get worse.

Store nilotinib at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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