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Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
BRAF Kinase Inhibitor Tafinlar® Cancer-related

Dabrafenib - What is it for

Dabrafenib is used to treat melanoma (a type of skin cancer) or non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is often given with another medication called Trametinib.

Your doctor will check for a gene mutation before starting you on this.

Dabrafenib - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Dabrafenib cause?

  • Dry skin, rash and itch
    • Moisturize your skin daily.
    • Avoid too much exposure to the sun as it may make the rash worse. Use sunscreen and covered clothing if you need to be under the sun for a long period of time.
  • Diarrhea
    • Drink plenty of clear fluids to replace those lost (2 litres everyday).
    • Avoid oily or spicy food and milk or dairy products.
  • Nausea (especially when taken together with Trametinib)
    • Take small, frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Feeling tired and lack of energy
    • Do not drive or operate machinery when you feel tired.
  • Joint or muscle ache
    • Apply a warm compress to the area that aches.
  • Mild fever
    • Drink more water to help cool your body down.
    • Place a cold towel on your forehead.
  • Hair loss

Please see your healthcare professional immediately if any of the following occur:

  • Fast heartbeat, chest pain, or unusual weakness, tiredness or light-headedness
  • Sudden onset of cough or shortness of breath
  • Fever of 38° C and above, especially with chills, pain or difficulty in passing urine
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising or black sticky stools
  • Dark urine or light coloured stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellowing of your eyes or skin
  • Very bad pain around the stomach area
  • Changes in eyesight or eye pain
  • New skin lesions
  • Redness, swelling, tenderness or peeling of skin on hands or feet
  • Symptoms of a drug allergy including one or more of the following:
    • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
    • Difficulty in breathing
    • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Before taking Dabrafenib, what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication
  • You or your partner becomes pregnant or is planning for pregnancy
    • You should use effective birth control during and for 2 weeks after stopping Dabrafenib (or 4 months if used in combination with trametinib).
  • You are breastfeeding
    • Do not breastfeed during and for 2 weeks after stopping treatment (or 4 months if used in combination with trametinib).
  • You have any other medical conditions such as heart problems, diabetes or G6PD-deficiency.
  • You are taking any other medications, including oral contraceptives, supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies. Some of them may affect how Dabrafenib works.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Dabrafenib?

​Avoid taking grapefruit when you are taking this medication as grapefruit may interact with your medication and increase the risk of side-effects.

Dabrafenib - Dosage and How to Use

How should Dabrafenib be used?

  • Take Dabrafenib two times a day, space about 12 hours between each dose
  • Take it on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food.
  • Do not break open or crush the capsule. Swallow the capsule whole.
    • Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have difficulty swallowing.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However if it is less than 6 hours to your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses at the same time.

What should I do if I overdose?

Dabrafenib - Handling and Storage

How should I handle Dabrafenib safely?

How should I store Dabrafenib?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store at room temperature;#

How should I dispose of Dabrafenib safely?

Pack Dabrafenib into a bag and bring it back to the pharmacy where you received it from.                    

Dabrafenib - Additional Information

​You may refer to the following website if you need more information:

  • Updated on Monday, September 30, 2019
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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