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Vemurafenib (By mouth)

Vemurafenib (vem-ue-RAF-e-nib)

Treats skin cancer.

Brand Name(s):

Zelboraf

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to vemurafenib, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Take your medicine as directed. The first dose should be taken in the morning, and the second dose in the evening. The doses should be taken 12 hours apart.
  • Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • If you vomit after you take the medicine, do not take an extra dose. Wait and take your next dose at the normal time.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: If it is more than 4 hours before your next dose, take the tablet as soon as you can. If it is less than 4 hours until your next regular dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how vemurafenib works. Tell your doctor if you are using dextromethorphan, ipilimumab, midazolam, nefazodone, medicine to treat HIV/AIDS (such as atazanavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir), medicine to treat an infection (such as clarithromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, telithromycin, voriconazole), medicine to treat tuberculosis (such as rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine), medicine to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin), a blood thinner (such as warfarin), or any product that contains caffeine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • This medicine may cause birth defects if either partner is using it during conception or pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant. Use effective birth control during treatment and for 2 months after your treatment ends.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart rhythm problems, or a mineral imbalance (such as high or low potassium, calcium, or magnesium levels in the blood).
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • New skin cancer
    • Cancer of the head and neck
    • Serious skin reactions
    • Change in heart rhythm
    • Vision problems
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments. An ECG (electrocardiogram) may be needed to check your heart.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Eye pain, vision changes
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat, fainting, dizziness, lightheadedness
  • Severe sunburn
  • Skin changes, including moles or new skin sores

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Bone, joint, or muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair thinning or loss
  • Headache
  • Tiredness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 12/4/2014


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