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Generic name: cobimetinibKOE-bi-ME-ti-nib ]
Drug class: Multikinase inhibitors

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Jan 17, 2023.

What is Cotellic?

Cotellic is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Cotellic is used in adults to treat a certain type of metastatic melanoma (skin cancer) that has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be removed with surgery. This medicine is usually given together with another medicine called Zelboraf (vemurafenib).

Cotellic is used only if your tumor has a specific genetic marker, for which your doctor will test.

Cotellic is also used alone to treat adults with blood cancers called histiocytic neoplasms.


Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Cotellic if you are allergic to cobimetinib.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart disease, heart rhythm disorder;

  • a history of eye problems (especially a problem with your retina);

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • skin problems not related to melanoma;

  • a muscle disorder;

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia; or

  • a condition for which you take a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven).

May harm an unborn baby. Do not use if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control while using Cotellic and for at least 2 weeks after your last dose. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant.

Do not breastfeed while using this medicine, and for at least 2 weeks after your last dose.

Cobimetinib may affect fertility in men or women. Pregnancy could be harder to achieve while either parent is using this medicine.

How should I take Cotellic?

Take Cotellic exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

Your doctor will perform tests to make sure Cotellic is the right treatment for you.

Cotellic is given in a 28-day treatment cycle. You may need to use the medicine only during the first 21 days of each cycle. Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with Cotellic.

Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice.

You may take Cotellic with or without food.

If you vomit shortly after taking Cotellic, do not take another dose. Take your next dose as scheduled.

Check your skin on a regular basis while you are using Cotellic. Tell your doctor if you notice any new skin change such as redness, sores that will not heal, a new wart, or a mole that has changed in size or color.

You will need frequent medical tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you remember, and then go back to your regular schedule. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking Cotellic?

Cotellic could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Cotellic side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Cotellic: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Cotellic may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • vision changes, partial vision loss, seeing halos around lights;

  • unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially if you also have fever and dark colored urine);

  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);

  • signs of bleeding inside the body - weakness, dizziness, headache, red or pink urine, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • signs of a heart problem - cough, wheezing, shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), chest pain, fast heartbeats, swelling in your feet or ankles;

  • low levels of sodium in the body - headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;

  • liver problems - nausea, upper stomach pain, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • severe skin reaction - skin pain, itching, redness, bumps or pimples, thickened or wrinkled skin, skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.

Your cancer treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.

Common Cotellic side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, heartburn;

  • bumps similar to acne on face, scalp, chest, or upper back;

  • dry skin, itching, rash;

  • tiredness;

  • swelling of arms, legs, or feet;

  • pain and burning when you urinate;

  • lung problems;

  • fever;

  • increased sensitivity to sunlight; or

  • abnormal blood tests.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Cotellic?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medicines at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you use, which may increase side effects or make the medicines less effective.

Other drugs may interact with cobimetinib, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

Where can I get more information?

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Cotellic only for the indication prescribed.

Frequently asked questions

Further information

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