From Our 2007 Archives

Tasigna Approved for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

MONDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Tasigna (nilotinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in people who are resistant or intolerant to other therapies, maker Novartis AG said Monday.

CML, among the most common forms of leukemia, affects about 4,500 people in the United States each year. Some have become resistant to or cannot tolerate a standard therapy for CML, Gleevec.

Tasigna, taken twice daily, targets a protein that is produced only by cells that have an abnormal chromosome in people with Philadelphia chromosome-positive CML, Novartis said in a statement. The protein is a key cause of the over-production of the white blood cells that characterizes this form of CML.

Reported side effects of the drug include rash, nausea, fatigue, headache, constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting. Users should avoid food two hours before and one hour after taking Tasigna, Novartis said.

-- Scott Roberts

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