Generic Name: rucaparib (roo-KAP-a-rib)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 10, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Uses for rucaparib
Rucaparib is used as maintenance treatment in patients with ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, or primary peritoneal cancer that has come back. It is used in patients who have received complete or partial treatment with platinum-based cancer medicines.
Rucaparib is also used to treat ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, or primary peritoneal cancer in patients who have received 2 or more cancer medicines. It is only used in patients who have a certain type of inherited (germline) or acquired (somatic) abnormal BRCA gene. Your doctor will test for the presence of this gene.
Rucaparib is also used to treat metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (prostate cancer that has spread and is resistant to medical or surgical treatments that lower testosterone). It is only used in patients who have a certain type of inherited (germline) or acquired (somatic) abnormal BRCA gene. Your doctor will test for the presence of this gene.
Rucaparib is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using rucaparib
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 rucaparib, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to rucaparib 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 rucaparib 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 rucaparib 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 rucaparib, 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 rucaparib 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 rucaparib. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Blood or bone marrow problems—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
Proper use of rucaparib
Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving rucaparib, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
Take rucaparib 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.
Rucaparib should come with patient information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
You may take rucaparib with or without food.
Your doctor may also give you other medicines (eg, gonadotropin-releasing hormone medicine) during prostate cancer treatment with rucaparib or you should have had surgical removal of the testes before using rucaparib.
The dose of rucaparib 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 rucaparib. 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 advanced ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, primary peritoneal cancer, or prostate cancer:
- Adults—600 milligrams (mg) (two 300 mg tablets) 2 times a day. Each dose should be taken 12 hours apart. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For advanced ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, primary peritoneal cancer, or prostate cancer:
If you miss a dose of rucaparib, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
If you vomit after taking a dose, do not take an extra dose.
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 rucaparib
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to check for any problems that may be caused by rucaparib. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using rucaparib while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Pregnancy tests are required before treatment with rucaparib. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment with rucaparib and for at least 6 months after the last dose. Male patients who have female partners should use effective birth control during treatment with rucaparib and for at least 3 months after the last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Do not donate sperm while you are using rucaparib and for at least 3 months after your last dose.
Tell your doctor if you have blood in the urine or stools, fever or chills, cough, sore throat, trouble breathing, unusual bleeding or bruising, or unusual tiredness or weakness. These may be symptoms of a bone marrow problem called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Rucaparib may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use sunscreen or sunblock lotion and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 on a regular basis when you are outdoors. Wear protective clothing and hats and stay out of direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 10 A.M. and 3 P.M. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
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.
Rucaparib 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:
- Black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- blood in the urine
- body aches or pain
- difficulty in breathing
- ear congestion
- loss of voice
- lower back or side pain
- muscle aches
- nasal congestion
- painful or difficult urination
- pale skin
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- rapid weight gain
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- tingling of the hands or feet
- trouble breathing
- troubled breathing with exertion
- ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight gain or loss
- Redness, swelling, or pain of the skin
- scaling of the skin on the hands and feet
- tenderness of the palms and soles
- tingling of the hands and feet
- ulceration of the skin
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:
- change in taste
- decreased appetite
- feeling sad or empty
- increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
- itching, skin rash
- lack of appetite
- lack or loss of strength
- loss of interest or pleasure
- loss of taste
- redness or other discoloration of the skin
- severe sunburn
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
- stomach distention
- swelling or inflammation of the mouth
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
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 rucaparib
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- Drug class: PARP inhibitors
- Other brands
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.