Vismodegib can result in embryo-fetal death or severe birth defects. Animal data indicate vismodegib is embryotoxic and teratogenic. Pregnancy status should be verified 7 days prior to treatment initiation. Advise female patients of the need for contraception during and after vismodegib therapy. Advise male patients of the potential risk of vismodegib exposure through semen and recommend use of condoms with a pregnant partner or female partner of reproductive potential .
Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Uses For vismodegib
Vismodegib is used to treat metastatic basal cell carcinoma, a certain type of skin cancer that has already spread through the body. Vismodegib also treats advanced basal cell carcinoma that has come back after surgery or cannot be treated with radiation or surgery.
Vismodegib is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using vismodegib
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 vismodegib, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to vismodegib 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 vismodegib in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of vismodegib have not been performed in the geriatric population, no geriatric-specific problems have been documented to date.
Studies in women breastfeeding have demonstrated harmful infant effects. An alternative to this medication should be prescribed or you should stop breastfeeding while using vismodegib.
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 vismodegib, 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 vismodegib 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.
- Aluminum Carbonate, Basic
- Aluminum Hydroxide
- Aluminum Phosphate
- Calcium Carbonate
- Dihydroxyaluminum Aminoacetate
- Dihydroxyaluminum Sodium Carbonate
- Magnesium Carbonate
- Magnesium Hydroxide
- Magnesium Oxide
- Magnesium Trisilicate
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.
Proper Use of vismodegib
Take vismodegib 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.
Vismodegib should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
You may take vismodegib with or without food.
Swallow the capsule whole. Do break, crush, or open it.
Take vismodegib at the same time each day.
The dose of vismodegib 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 vismodegib. 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 advanced or metastatic basal cell carcinoma:
- Adults—150 milligrams once a day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For advanced or metastatic basal cell carcinoma:
If you miss a dose of vismodegib, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
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 vismodegib
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits for any unwanted effects or problems that may be caused by vismodegib.
Using vismodegib while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. If you are a woman who can bear children, your doctor may give you a pregnancy test 7 days before you start using vismodegib to make sure you are not pregnant. Use a highly effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. You should not become pregnant while you are taking vismodegib and for 24 months after stopping it. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Vismodegib may also cause birth defects if the father is using it when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. Male patients (including those who had a vasectomy) should use condoms and spermicides as forms of birth control during sexual intercourse while taking vismodegib and for 3 months after the last dose of vismodegib.
Do not donate blood or blood products while taking vismodegib and for 24 months after stopping it.
For male patients: Do not donate semen while taking vismodegib and for 3 months after stopping it.
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.
Vismodegib 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:
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- decreased urine output
- dry mouth
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- increased thirst
- muscle pain or cramps
- nausea or vomiting
- pain in the lower back or side
- shortness of breath
- swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
- unusual tiredness or weakness
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:
- Absent, missed, or irregular menstrual periods
- change in taste
- decreased appetite
- difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
- difficulty with moving
- hair loss or thinning of the hair
- loss of taste
- muscle spasm or stiffness
- pain in the joints
- stopping of menstrual bleeding
- weight loss
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about vismodegib
- Vismodegib Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
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- Drug class: hedgehog pathway inhibitors
Other brands: Erivedge