- Take the Leukemia Quiz!
- 15 Cancer Symptoms Women Ignore Slideshow
- Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore Slideshow
- What is nilotinib, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for nilotinib?
- Is nilotinib available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for nilotinib?
- What are the side effects of nilotinib?
- What is the dosage for nilotinib?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with nilotinib?
- Is nilotinib safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about nilotinib?
What is nilotinib, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Nilotinib is an oral medication used for treating chronic myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Nilotinib is classified as a kinase inhibitor. Kinase inhibitors include dasatinib (Sprycel), erlotinib (Tarceva), gefitinib (Iressa), imatinib (Gleevec), pazopanib (Votrient), sunitinib (Sutent), and vandetanib (Caprelsa). Kinase inhibitors prevent the growth of tumors by reducing the action of proteins that control cell division, growth and survival. These proteins are usually present in larger quantities or are more active in cancer cells. By reducing the activity of these proteins, growth and survival of cancer cells are reduced. The FDA approved nilotinib in October 2007.
What brand names are available for nilotinib?
Is nilotinib available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: No
Do I need a prescription for nilotinib?
What are the side effects of nilotinib?
Common side effects include:
- stomach pain,
- weight changes,
- nausea and vomiting,
- swelling of arms and legs,
- hair loss,
- runny or stuffy nose, and
- muscle pain.
Serious side effects include
- fever associated with reduced white blood cells,
- reduced platelets and red blood cell counts,
- bleeding in the brain,
- reduced liver function,
- and increased or reduced thyroid function.
Other important side effects caused by Nilotinib include:
- low phosphate (hypophosphatemia),
- low potassium (hypokalemia),
- high potassium (hyperkalemia),
- low calcium (hypocalcemia),
- and low sodium (hyponatremia) concentrations in the blood.
Nilotinib may cause a type of abnormal heart rhythm called prolongation of QT interval. Prolongation of the QT interval may lead to sudden death. ECGs should be obtained prior to starting nilotinib, 7 days after start of treatment, after dose adjustments, and as needed thereafter. Low potassium or low magnesium may increase the risk of QT prolongation. Therefore, low potassium and low magnesium should be corrected prior to starting treatment. Food and/or drugs that reduce break down of nilotinib in the liver and/or medicinal products that prolong QT interval may increase the risk of QT prolongation and should not be combined with nilotinib.
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.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.