This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
Brand Names: US
Brand Names: Canada
What is this drug used for?
- It is used to treat lung cancer.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?
- If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you are taking any drugs that can cause a certain type of heartbeat that is not normal (prolonged QT interval). There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this drug and for 2 weeks after your last dose.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have your blood work and other lab tests checked as you have been told by your doctor. Some people may also need to have heart rhythm checked with an ECG.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely. Tell your doctor if you get signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, unusual thirst or hunger, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- Low blood cell counts have happened with this drug. If blood cell counts get very low, this can lead to bleeding problems, infections, or anemia. Rarely, a blood problem called aplastic anemia has happened. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have a new fever or fever that does not go away, chills, sore throat, or other signs of infection; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; pale skin; or if you feel very tired or weak.
- If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
- This drug may affect fertility. Fertility problems may lead to not being able to get pregnant or father a child. In females, this may go back to normal. In males, it is not known if this will go back to normal. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
- This drug may cause harm to an unborn baby. A pregnancy test will be done before you start this drug to show that you are NOT pregnant.
- If you or your sex partner may become pregnant, you must use birth control while taking this drug and for some time after the last dose. Ask your doctor how long to use birth control. If you or your sex partner gets pregnant, call your doctor right away.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of electrolyte problems like mood changes; confusion; muscle pain, cramps, or spasms; weakness; shakiness; change in balance; an abnormal heartbeat; seizures; loss of appetite; or severe upset stomach or throwing up.
- Signs of a severe skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme) like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); skin reaction that looks like rings; red or irritated eyes; or sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
- Change in eyesight, eye pain, or severe eye irritation.
- If bright lights bother your eyes.
- Watery eyes.
- Purple spots; red skin of the lower arms, lower legs, or buttocks that does not fade when pressed; or hives that do not go away within 24 hours and look bruised.
- Lung problems have happened with this drug. Sometimes, this may be deadly. Signs of lung problems may be like signs of lung cancer. Call your doctor right away if you have any new or worse signs of lung or breathing problems like shortness of breath or other trouble breathing, cough, or fever.
- Heart failure has rarely happened in people taking this drug. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath, a big weight gain, swelling in the arms or legs, or bulging neck veins.
- A type of abnormal heartbeat (prolonged QT interval) can happen with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have a fast heartbeat, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, or if you pass out.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Dry skin.
- Change in nails.
- Constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, upset stomach, throwing up, or decreased appetite.
- Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Signs of a common cold.
- Back, bone, joint, muscle, or neck pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
How is this drug best taken?
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food.
- Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- If you have trouble swallowing, the tablet may be mixed in 2 ounces (60 mL) of water. Do not use carbonated water or other liquids. Stir well until the tablet is in small pieces. Do not crush or heat. Swallow right away.
- After drinking, rinse the container with 4 to 8 ounces (120 to 240 mL) of water and drink right away.
- Those who have feeding tubes may use this drug. Use as you have been told. Flush the feeding tube after this drug is given.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
- Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
General drug facts
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
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