Vemurafenib (By mouth)
Treats skin cancer.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- 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 two doses should be taken 12 hours apart.
- Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
- Missed dose:Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, you may still take it up to 4 hours before your next regular dose time. If it is less than 4 hours until your next dose, skip the 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 foods and 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 stopping it.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart rhythm problems (such as long QT syndrome, QT prolongation), or a mineral imbalance (such as high or low potassium, calcium, magnesium).
- 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.
- 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
- Blurred vision, eye pain, vision changes
- Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
- 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:
- Back, bone, joint, or muscle pain
- Hair thinning or patchy hair loss
- Nausea, diarrhea
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 reviewed on 4/4/2014
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