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How long does it take for Idhifa to start working?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Oct 6, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com
  • In clinical studies looking at how well Idhifa (enasidenib) worked for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 50% of patients had a first response at 1.9 months (with a range from 0.5 to 7.5 months), but for 50% of patients it took it longer.
  • Half of patients also saw their best response with Idhifa after taking it for 3.7 months (with a range between 0.6 to 11.2 months), while for half it took longer.
  • Overall, in clinical studies looking at how well Idhifa worked, it was found to be effective in 46 out of 199 of patients (23%).
  • Half of the 214 patients evaluated for safety took Idhifa for more than 4.3 months, while half took it for less (with a range between 0.3 to 23.6 months).

Is Idhifa a chemotherapy?

Idhifa is not considered a traditional chemotherapy (“chemo”) agent. Idhifa (enasidenib) is a targeted treatment taken by mouth for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of blood cancer.

Idhifa works by blocking the enzyme isocitrate dehydrogenase-2 (IDH2). Your doctor will test your blood or bone marrow to see if you have the IDH2 mutation and are a candidate for treatment with Idhifa.

Blocking IDH2 helps blood cells in your bone marrow grow into healthy and functioning red and white blood cells and platelets. These healthy cells are needed by the body for oxygen delivery, to fight infection, and to help prevent bleeding.

How long do I take Idhifa?

Patients usually continue taking Idhifa until their disease worsens or they have unacceptable side effects. For most patients, this will be at least 6 months. Your doctor will tell you how long to continue taking Idhifa and about your overall treatment regimen.

Your doctor will do blood tests to monitor for side effects before you start treatment, and then at least every 2 weeks for the first 3 months during your treatment.

Common side effects with Idhifa tablets include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • increased levels of bilirubin (a substance found in bile)
  • decreased appetite.

How do I take Idhifa?

  • Idhifa is an oral tablet you take by mouth at home. Idhifa is approved for use in adults only.
  • Take your medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. You will usually take it once a day, at the same time each day.
  • Do not split, crush or chew Idhifa. Swallow your medication whole with 8 ounces (one cup) of water. Idhifa can be taken with or without food.
  • If your dose of Idhifa is vomited, missed, or not taken at the usual time, take the dose as soon as possible on the same day, and return to the normal schedule the following day. Do NOT take 2 doses at the same time to make up for the missed dose.

Bottom Line

  • In studies in patients with AML, 50% of patients had their first response to Idhifa at 1.9 months (with a range from 0.5 to 7.5 months).
  • Half of patients saw their best response with Idhifa after taking it for 3.7 months (with a range between 0.6 to 11.2 months).
  • Overall, in clinical studies looking at how well Idhifa worked, it was found to be effective in 46 out of 199 (23%) of patients.

This is not all the information you need to know about Idhifa for safe and effective use. Review the full Idhifa (enasidenib) information here, and discuss this information with your doctor or other health care provider.

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