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Mekinist

Generic Name: trametinib (tra ME ti nib)
Brand Name: Mekinist

Medically reviewed on May 10, 2018

What is trametinib?

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

Trametinib is used alone or in combination with another medicine called dabrafenib (Tafinlar) to treat certain types of cancer in people who have a "BRAF" gene mutation. This medicines is for use in treating:

  • melanoma (skin cancer) that cannot be treated with surgery or has spread to other parts of the body, or to prevent melanoma from coming back after surgery;

  • non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body; or

  • advanced or metastatic thyroid cancer that has spread and for which there are no other treatment options.

Trametinib may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Using trametinib with dabrafenib may increase your risk of developing a certain type of skin cancer. Ask your doctor about your specific risk. Tell your doctor if you notice any new skin symptoms.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use trametinib if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure;

  • diabetes (dabrafenib may raise your blood sugar);

  • lung disease;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • a stomach or intestinal disorder;

  • bleeding problems, or a blood clot;

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

  • prior treatment with a BRAF inhibitor such as dabrafenib or vemurafenib.

Using trametinib with dabrafenib may increase your risk of developing a certain type of skin cancer. Ask your doctor about your specific risk. Tell your doctor if you notice any new skin symptoms such as redness, warts, sores that will not heal, or a mole that has changed in size or color.

Do not use trametinib if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 4 months after your last dose.

Trametinib can make birth control pills, patches, or injections less effective. Ask your doctor about using non hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy.

This medicine may affect fertility (ability to have children) in both men and women. However, it is important for women to use birth control to prevent pregnancy because trametinib can harm an unborn baby.

You should not breast-feed while using this medicine, and for at least 4 months after your last dose.

How should I take trametinib?

Your doctor will perform blood tests to make sure you have the correct tumor type to be treated with trametinib.

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Take trametinib on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

Take the medicine at the same time each day.

Your doctor will need to check your skin every 2 months while you are using trametinib, and for up to 6 months after your last dose.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Your heart function may need to be checked with an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG) every 2 or 3 months during your treatment. You may also need regular vision examinations.

Store in the refrigerator and protect from light. Do not freeze. Keep the tablets in their original container, along with the packet or canister of moisture-absorbing preservative. Do not store trametinib tablets in a pill box.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if your next dose is due in less than 12 hours. 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 trametinib?

This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Trametinib side effects

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

Some side effects are more likely to occur if you take trametinib and dabrafenib together. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • dry cough, wheezing, feeling short of breath;

  • eye pain or swelling, vision changes, seeing halos around lights, seeing color "dots" in your vision;

  • severe skin rash, skin pain or swelling, redness and peeling skin on your hands or feet;

  • nausea, stomach pain, severe diarrhea;

  • fever, chills, feeling light-headed;

  • increased thirst or urination;

  • signs of bleeding--weakness, dizziness, headache, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • signs of a blood clot--chest pain, sudden cough or trouble breathing, pain or swelling in an arm or leg, pale skin or cold feeling in an arm or leg; or

  • signs of a heart problem--shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), pounding heartbeats, swelling in your feet or ankles.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite;

  • fever, chills, tiredness;

  • bleeding;

  • increased blood pressure;

  • joint pain;

  • cough, shortness of breath;

  • swelling; or

  • rash, dry skin.

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 trametinib?

Other drugs may affect trametinib, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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

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

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