Generic Name: trametinib (Oral route)
Medically reviewed on Oct 31, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Uses For Mekinist
Trametinib is used alone or in combination with dabrafenib to treat melanoma (skin cancer) that has spread or cannot be removed by surgery, 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 also used together with dabrafenib to help prevent melanoma from coming back after surgery. It is only used if the melanoma cells have the BRAF V600E or V600K mutations and if the NSCLC cells and ATC cells have the BRAF V600E mutation. Your doctor will use a special test to look for these mutations. Trametinib belongs to the group of medicines, called antineoplastics (cancer medicines).
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using Mekinist
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:
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.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of trametinib 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 trametinib 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. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
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:
- Bleeding problems or
- Blood clots (eg, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism) or
- Diabetes, or history of or
- Eye or vision problems or
- Heart disease (eg, cardiomyopathy, heart failure) or
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
- Lung disease or other breathing problems or
- Stomach or bowel problems (eg, colitis, perforation)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Dehydration or
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
- Kidney failure—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
Proper Use of Mekinist
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 patient information leaflet. Read and follow the 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.
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.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and anaplastic thyroid cancer:
- Adults—2 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and anaplastic thyroid cancer:
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 12 hours until your next regular dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. If you miss a dose and it is more than 12 hours until your next dose, take it as soon as possible and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
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 in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
Keep the medicine in its original bottle. Protect from moisture and light.
Precautions While Using Mekinist
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 this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment with this medicine and for at least 4 months after the last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
This medicine may cause fertility (ability to have children) problems in women. 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 bleeding problems. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms: bleeding gums, coughing up blood, difficulty in breathing or swallowing, dizziness, headache, increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding, nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding from cuts, red or dark brown urine, or red or black, tarry stools.
This medicine may cause diarrhea, and in some cases it can be severe. Do not take any medicine to treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor. If you have any questions about this or if mild diarrhea continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.
This medicine may cause heart problems, including heart failure. Check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain, decreased urine output, an uneven heartbeat, swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs, troubled breathing, or rapid weight gain while using this medicine.
Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, loss of vision, or any change in vision occurs during treatment. These could be symptoms of a serious eye problem. Your doctor may want your eyes be checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
Tell your doctor right away if you have a cough, trouble breathing, chest tightness, or any type of breathing problem with this medicine. These could be symptoms of a serious lung problem.
This medicine may cause fever, including severe fever reactions that can sometimes happen with low blood pressure, chills, dehydration, or kidney problems. Check with your doctor right away if you have a fever while using this medicine.
Check with your doctor right away if you have a severe skin rash, acne, or redness, swelling, peeling, or tenderness of the hands or feet. These may be symptoms of a serious skin problem.
This medicine may raise your blood sugar. You should check your blood sugar more often during the first month you take this medicine, and then on a regular basis if you have diabetes or a history of high blood sugar.
You will also need to have your blood pressure measured before starting this medicine and while you are using it. If you notice any change to your recommended blood pressure, call your doctor right away. Symptoms of high blood pressure are blurred vision, severe headache, a slow or fast heartbeat, lightheadedness, or dizziness.
Mekinist 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 from the rectum or bloody stools
- bleeding gums
- blemishes on the skin
- blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
- bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- bloody nose
- blurred vision
- chest discomfort or pain
- cracked, dry, or scaly skin
- coughing up blood
- decreased urine output
- difficulty with breathing or swallowing
- dilated neck veins
- extreme tiredness or weakness
- fast, slow, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
- increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
- irregular breathing
- lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- pounding in the ears
- prolonged bleeding from cuts
- rapid weight gain
- 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
- tightness in the chest
- tingling of the hands and feet
- ulceration of the skin
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight gain or loss
- Change in vision
- seeing flashes or sparks of light
- seeing floating spots before the eyes, or a veil or curtain across part of your vision
- stomach cramps, pain, or tenderness
- watery or bloody diarrhea
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:
- Burning, itching, and pain in hairy areas, pus at the root of the hair
- canker sores
- change in taste
- dark urine
- dry eyes
- dry mouth
- dry skin
- itching, pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, or warmth on the skin
- loosening of the fingernails
- loss of taste
- muscle cramp, pain, stiffness, or spasm
- redness or soreness around the fingernails
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or tongue or inside the mouth
- stomach pain
- swelling or inflammation of the mouth
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about Mekinist (trametinib)
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- Drug class: multikinase inhibitors