Generic Name: encorafenib (en-koe-KAF-a-nib)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on July 15, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: BRAF Inhibitor
Uses for encorafenib
Encorafenib is used in combination with binimetinib to treat melanoma (skin cancer) that has spread or cannot be removed by surgery. It is only used if the melanoma cells have the BRAF V600E or V600K mutations. Your doctor will use a special test to look for these mutations.
Encorafenib is also used in combination with cetuximab to treat cancer of the colon and rectum that has spread and have the BRAF V600E mutations. Your doctor will use a special test to look for these mutations. Encorafenib belongs to the group of medicines, called antineoplastics (cancer medicines).
Encorafenib is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using encorafenib
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 encorafenib, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to encorafenib 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.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of encorafenib in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of encorafenib in the elderly.
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 encorafenib, 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 encorafenib 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 encorafenib 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.
- Aripiprazole Lauroxil
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Ethinyl Estradiol
- Inotuzumab Ozogamicin
- Sodium Phosphate
- Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
- Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
- St John's Wort
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. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using encorafenib with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use encorafenib, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
- Grapefruit Juice
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of encorafenib. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Eye problem (eg, iritis, iridocyclitis, uveitis) or
- Heart rhythm problems (eg, QT prolongation)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Hypokalemia or (low potassium level) or
- Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium level)—These conditions must be corrected first before using encorafenib.
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Liver disease, moderate or severe—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of the slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper use of encorafenib
Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before using encorafenib, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
Take encorafenib 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.
Encorafenib usually comes with a Medication Guide. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
You may take encorafenib with or without food.
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using encorafenib.
The dose of encorafenib 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 encorafenib. 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.
- For oral dosage form (capsules):
- For colorectal cancer:
- Adults—300 milligrams (mg) (four 75 mg capsules) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For melanoma:
- Adults—450 milligrams (mg) (six 75 mg capsules) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For colorectal cancer:
If you miss a dose of encorafenib, 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 missed a dose and it is 12 hours or less away, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your regular dosing time. If your missed dose is more than 12 hours until the time you normally take a dose, take it as soon as you remember and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
If you vomit after taking a dose, do not take an extra dose. Take your next dose at your regular time.
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.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep the medicine in its original container.
Precautions while using encorafenib
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it. Blood and urine tests will be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using encorafenib while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Birth control pills may not work as well to prevent pregnancy when used with encorafenib. 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 encorafenib 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.
Encorafenib may cause fertility (ability to have children) problems in men. Talk to your doctor before using encorafenib if you plan to have children.
Encorafenib 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.
Encorafenib 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.
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).
Contact your doctor right away if you have any changes to your heart rhythm. You might feel dizzy or faint, or you might have a fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat. Make sure your doctor knows if you had a heart rhythm problem, such as QT prolongation.
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.
Encorafenib side effects
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:
- Bleeding gums
- coughing up blood
- dark urine
- difficulty in breathing or swallowing
- fast heartbeat
- hives, itching, skin rash
- increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
- joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- loss of appetite
- pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
- partial or slight paralysis of the face
- prolonged bleeding from cuts
- red or black, tarry stools
- red or dark-brown urine
- redness, swelling, or pain of the skin
- scaling of the skin on the hands and feet
- swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
- thickening of the skin
- tightness in the chest
- tingling of the hands and feet
- ulceration of the skin
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- yellow eyes or skin
- Black, tarry stools
- bloody stools
- vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
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:
- Back pain
- burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
- change in taste
- difficulty in moving
- dry skin
- hair loss, thinning of hair
- loss of taste
- muscular pain, tenderness, wasting, or weakness
- pain in the arms or legs
- stomach pain
- unsteadiness or awkwardness
- weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
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.
Frequently asked questions
More about encorafenib
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
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- Drug class: multikinase inhibitors
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