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Dabrafenib (Oral)

Generic name: dabrafenib [ da-BRAF-e-nib ]
Brand name: Tafinlar
Drug class: Multikinase inhibitors

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 17, 2023.

Uses for dabrafenib

Dabrafenib is used alone or in combination with trametinib to treat melanoma (skin cancer) that has spread or that cannot be removed by surgery. It is also used together with trametinib to help prevent melanoma from coming back after surgery. It is only used if the melanoma cells have the BRAF V600E or V600K mutations. Dabrafenib is also used together with trametinib to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread and anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) that has spread and has no satisfactory treatment options. It is only used if the NSCLC cells and ATC cells have the BRAF V600E mutation. Dabrafenib is also used in combination with trametinib to treat solid tumors that have spread, that cannot be removed by surgery, or that have gotten worse (progressed) and has no satisfactory treatment options. It is only used if the solid tumors have the BRAF V600E mutations. Dabrafenib is also used in combination with trametinib to treat low-grade glioma (LGG) in patients who require other treatments. It is only used if the brain tumor has the BRAF V600E mutations. Your doctor will use a special test to look for these mutations. Dabrafenib belongs to the group of medicines, called antineoplastics (cancer medicines).

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before using dabrafenib

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of dabrafenib to treat melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and anaplastic thyroid cancer in children, to treat solid tumors in children younger than 6 years of age, and to treat glioma in children younger than 1 year of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of dabrafenib in the elderly.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper use of dabrafenib

Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before using 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 this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

This medicine usually comes with a Medication Guide and patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Take this medicine at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

Swallow the capsule whole. Do not open, crush, or break it.

To use the tablet for suspension:

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

If you miss a dose and it is less than 6 hours until your next regular dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. If you miss a dose and it is more than 6 hours until your next dose, take it as soon as possible and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

If you vomit, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions while using dabrafenib

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. If you are a woman who can get pregnant, your doctor may do tests to make sure you are not pregnant before starting treatment. Birth control pills may not work as well to prevent pregnancy when used with this medicine. Use another form of birth control (eg, condoms, diaphragms, contraceptive foams or jellies) along with your pills. Use an effective form of birth control during treatment with this medicine and for at least 2 weeks after the last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Some men and women who use this medicine have become infertile (unable to have children). Talk to your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children.

This medicine may increase your risk of having cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cuSCC) or other skin cancers. Check with your doctor right away if you develop any skin changes, including a new wart, change in size or color of a mole, or a skin sore or reddish bump that does not heal. Your doctor may want your skin be checked for new skin lesions before treatment, during treatment, and for up to 6 months after the last dose.

This medicine may cause hemorrhage (severe bleeding) in the stomach and bowel areas or in the brain. Call your doctor right away if you have any unusual or unexplained bleeding.

Dabrafenib may cause heart problems. Check with your doctor right away if you have chest discomfort or pain, dizziness or faintness, fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat, swelling of the feet or lower legs, trouble with breathing, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

Check with your doctor right away if eye pain or a change in vision occurs during treatment. This could be a sign of a serious eye problem. Your doctor may want your eyes be checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

This medicine may cause fever, including severe fever that sometimes happens with low blood pressure, chills, dehydration, or kidney problems. Check with your doctor right away if you have a fever while using this medicine.

This medicine may cause serious skin reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, fever or chills, cough, sore throat, trouble breathing or swallowing, swelling of your hands, face, mouth, or throat, swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin, or yellow skin or eyes while using this medicine.

This medicine may affect your blood sugar levels. Check with your doctor right away if you have increased thirst or increased urination. If you notice a change in the results of your urine or blood sugar tests, or if you have any questions, check with your doctor.

This medicine may cause a severe inflammatory condition that could be life-threatening, including hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), which is caused by an overactive immune system. Check with your doctor right away if you have a bruising, fever, skin rash, or swollen glands.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of dabrafenib

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Less common

Incidence not known

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

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

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

Available Dosage Forms:

Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent

Pharmacologic Class: BRAF Inhibitor

Further information

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