Generic Name: Ibrutinib (eye BROO ti nib)
Brand Name: Imbruvica
Medically reviewed on May 2, 2018
Uses of Ibrutinib:
- It is used to treat a type of lymphoma.
- It is used to treat a type of leukemia.
- It is used to treat Waldenstroms' macroglobulinemia (WM).
- It is used to treat graft versus host effects after a bone marrow transplant.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Ibrutinib?
- If you have an allergy to ibrutinib or any other part of ibrutinib.
- 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 have liver disease.
- If you take any drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) that must not be taken with ibrutinib, like certain drugs that are used for HIV, infections, or seizures. There are many drugs that must not be taken with ibrutinib.
- If you are taking St. John's wort. Do not take St. John's wort with ibrutinib. This medicine may not work as well.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with ibrutinib.
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 ibrutinib 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 Ibrutinib?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take ibrutinib. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists. This medicine may need to be stopped before certain types of surgery as your doctor has told you. If ibrutinib is stopped, your doctor will tell you when to start taking ibrutinib again after your surgery or procedure.
- 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.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly bleeding problems have happened with ibrutinib. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may add to the chance of getting some types of cancer. Talk with the doctor.
- Patients with cancer who take ibrutinib may be at a greater risk of getting a bad health problem called tumor lysis syndrome (TLS). Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have a fast heartbeat or a heartbeat that does not feel normal; any passing out; trouble passing urine; muscle weakness or cramps; upset stomach, throwing up, loose stools, or not able to eat; or feel sluggish.
- A very bad brain problem called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) has happened with ibrutinib. It may cause disability or can be deadly. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs like confusion, memory problems, low mood (depression), change in the way you act, change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or change in eyesight.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly kidney problems have happened with ibrutinib. Call your doctor right away if you are unable to pass urine or if you have blood in the urine or a change in the amount of urine passed.
- If you are 65 or older, use ibrutinib with care. You could have more side effects.
- If you are a man and have sex with a female who could get pregnant, protect her from pregnancy during care and for 1 month after care ends. Use birth control that you can trust.
- If you are a man and your sex partner gets pregnant while you take ibrutinib or within 1 month after your last dose, call your doctor right away.
- 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 ibrutinib. Talk with your doctor.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking ibrutinib and for 1 month after stopping ibrutinib.
- If you get pregnant while taking ibrutinib or within 1 month after your last dose, call your doctor right away.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Ibrutinib) best taken?
Use ibrutinib as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, open, or crush.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- Take ibrutinib at the same time of day.
- Take with a full glass of water.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking ibrutinib as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
- Avoid Seville oranges.
- High blood pressure has happened with ibrutinib. Have your blood pressure checked as you have been told by your doctor.
- If loose stools (diarrhea) or throwing up happens, you will need to make sure to avoid dehydration and electrolyte problems. Talk with the doctor.
- Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have upset stomach, throwing up, loose stools (diarrhea), or are not hungry, talk with your doctor. There may be ways to lower these side effects.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it on the same day you missed the dose.
- If you do not think about the missed dose until the next day, 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 bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- 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.
- Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
- Very loose stools (diarrhea).
- Loose stools (diarrhea) that will not go away.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Change in eyesight.
- Change in color or size of a mole.
- A skin lump or growth.
- Abnormal heartbeats have happened with ibrutinib. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have a fast or abnormal heartbeat, chest pain, dizziness, or if you feel like passing out.
What are some other side effects of Ibrutinib?
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:
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Not hungry.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Belly pain.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Hard stools (constipation).
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Muscle spasm.
- Signs of a common cold.
- Dry eyes.
- More tears.
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 Ibrutinib?
- Store in the original container at room temperature.
- Keep lid tightly closed.
- 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 ibrutinib, 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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about ibrutinib
- Ibrutinib Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- En Español
- 21 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: multikinase inhibitors
Other brands: Imbruvica