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Generic Name: ribociclib (RYE boe SYE klib)
Brand Names: Kisqali

Medically reviewed on July 25, 2018

What is Kisqali?

Kisqali (ribociclib) is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Kisqali is used to treat a certain type of advanced breast cancer in premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

Kisqali is given in combination with other cancer medicines such as Femara (letrozole) or Faslodex (fulvestrant).

Important information

You will need frequent medical tests while taking Kisqali. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Kisqali if you are allergic to ribociclib.

Your doctor will perform blood tests to make sure you do not have conditions that would prevent you from safely using this medicine.

To make sure Kisqali is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;

  • signs of infection (fever, chills);

  • heart disease or prior heart attack;

  • long QT syndrome;

  • slow heartbeats; or

  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, or potassium in your blood).

Do not use Kisqali if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby or cause birth defects. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 3 weeks after your last dose.

You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment.

This medicine may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.

It is not known whether ribociclib passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine and for at least 3 weeks after your last dose.

How should I take Kisqali?

Take Kisqali exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Kisqali is given in a 28-day treatment cycle. You will take the medicine for the first 21 days of each cycle, followed by 7 days off. Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with this medicine.

Do not crush, chew, or break a tablet. Swallow the tablet whole.

You may take Kisqali with or without food. Take the medicine in the morning, at the same time each day.

If you vomit after taking the medicine, wait until the next day to take your next dose.

Do not use a broken or damaged pill.

Your blood cells, liver function, and heart function will need to be tested before and during treatment. You will need frequent blood tests while taking Kisqali. Your heart function will be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

Store in the original container at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

Kisqali dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer:

600 mg orally once a day for 21 consecutive days followed by 7 days off treatment for a complete cycle of 28 days.

Comments: Refer to the manufacturer product information for dosing and administration recommendations for the co-administered aromatase inhibitor, e.g. Femara (letrozole).

Use: In combination with an aromatase inhibitor as initial endocrine-based therapy for the treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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 Kisqali?

Certain foods and juices may interact with ribociclib and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit and pomegranate products while taking Kisqali.

Avoid taking an herbal supplement containing St. John's wort at the same time you are taking Kisqali.

Kisqali side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • low white blood cell counts - fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing; or

  • liver problems - loss of appetite, upper stomach pain, tiredness, easy bruising or bleeding, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

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

Common Kisqali side effects may include:

  • low white blood cells;

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • diarrhea, constipation;

  • feeling tired;

  • headache, back pain; or

  • hair loss.

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Kisqali?

Kisqali can cause a serious heart problem, especially if you use certain medicines at the same time, including antibiotics, antidepressants, antipsychotic medicines, stomach acid reducers, heart rhythm medicine, and medicines to treat cancer, malaria, HIV or AIDS.

Many drugs can interact with ribociclib. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Kisqali. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Further information

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

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