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Abemaciclib

Generic Name: Abemaciclib (a bem a SYE klib)
Brand Name: Verzenio

Medically reviewed: April 4, 2018

Uses of Abemaciclib:

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Abemaciclib?

  • If you have an allergy to abemaciclib or any part of abemaciclib.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Ketoconazole or rifampin.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take abemaciclib and for 3 weeks after your last dose.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with abemaciclib.

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 abemaciclib 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 Abemaciclib?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take abemaciclib. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • It is common to have diarrhea when taking abemaciclib. Sometimes, diarrhea has been very bad and may cause dehydration or an infection. Most of the time, diarrhea happened during the first month of treatment. If you get diarrhea, follow what your doctor told you to do. If you are not sure what to do if you get diarrhea, talk with your doctor.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • You may have more of a chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu. Some infections have been very bad and even deadly.
  • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with abemaciclib may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
  • You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
  • Blood clots have happened with abemaciclib. Sometimes, these blood clots have been deadly. Talk with the doctor.
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
  • This medicine may be used with other drugs to treat your health condition. If you are also taking other drugs, talk with your doctor about the risks and side effects that may happen.
  • This medicine may affect being able to father a child. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
  • If you are able to get pregnant, a pregnancy test will be done to show that you are NOT pregnant before starting abemaciclib. Talk with your doctor.
  • Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking abemaciclib and for at least 3 weeks after your last dose.
  • If you get pregnant while taking abemaciclib or within 3 weeks after your last dose, call your doctor right away.

How is this medicine (Abemaciclib) best taken?

Use abemaciclib as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with or without food.
  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • Do not take chipped or broken tablets.
  • Take abemaciclib at the same time of day.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Keep taking abemaciclib as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids every day unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
  • If you throw up after taking a dose, do not repeat the dose. Take your next dose at your normal time.

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.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

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 infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Signs of fluid and electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, very bad dizziness or passing out, fast heartbeat, more thirst, seizures, feeling very tired or weak, not hungry, unable to pass urine or change in the amount of urine produced, dry mouth, dry eyes, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Very loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Loose stools (diarrhea) that will not go away.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Fast breathing.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have signs of a blood clot like chest pain or pressure; coughing up blood; shortness of breath; swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm; or trouble speaking or swallowing.

What are some other side effects of Abemaciclib?

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:

  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Not hungry.
  • Belly pain.
  • Headache.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Dry mouth.
  • Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
  • Joint pain.
  • Change in taste.
  • Dizziness.
  • Hair thinning.
  • Hair loss.
  • Weight loss.

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 the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

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.

How do I store and/or throw out Abemaciclib?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store 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.

Consumer information use

  • 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.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about abemaciclib, 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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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