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Generic Name: olaparib (oh LAP a rib)
Brand Name: Lynparza

Medically reviewed by on Jan 28, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is olaparib?

Olaparib is used to treat advanced ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, or peritoneal cancer in women with a certain abnormal inherited gene.

Olaparib is sometimes given when cancer has come back after treatment with other medications.

Olaparib is also used to treat HER2-negative breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body before or after prior chemotherapy or hormonal treatment.

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

Important Information

Olaparib affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Call your doctor if you have a fever, weakness, tiredness, trouble breathing, easy bruising or bleeding, blood in your urine or stools, or weight loss.

You will need weekly or monthly blood tests, and your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results.

Olaparib may also cause serious lung problems. Call your doctor if you have chest pain, wheezing, trouble breathing, or a new or worsening cough.

Before taking this medicine

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

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • lung disease, breathing problems; or

  • kidney disease.

Olaparib can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects if the mother or the father is using olaparib.

  • If you are a woman, do not use olaparib if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 6 months after your last dose.

  • If you are a man, use effective birth control if your sex partner is able to get pregnant. Keep using birth control for at least 3 months after your last dose. Also do not to donate sperm during the 3 months after your last dose.

  • Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using olaparib.

Do not breast-feed while using this medicine, and for at least 1 month after your last dose.

How should I take olaparib?

Your doctor will perform a blood test to make sure olaparib is the right treatment for your condition.

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

Olaparib capsules must not be used as a substitute for olaparib tablets. These two pill forms are not taken in the same dosage amounts.

You may take olaparib with or without food.

Do not crush, chew, dissolve, or break an olaparib capsule or tablet. Swallow the pill whole.

If your doctor changes your brand, strength, or type of olaparib, your dosage needs may change. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about the olaparib pills you receive at the pharmacy.

Olaparib can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. You will need weekly or monthly blood tests. You may also need chest x-rays to be sure this medicine is not causing harmful effects on your lungs. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not use any olaparib capsule that has been exposed to high heat (higher than 104 degrees F).

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the regular time. 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 olaparib?

Grapefruit and Seville oranges may interact with olaparib and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products and orange marmalades.

Olaparib 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.

You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:

  • fever, chills, flu symptoms;

  • sudden weakness or tired feeling;

  • chest pain, wheezing, shortness of breath, new or worsening cough;

  • painful mouth sores, red or swollen gums;

  • skin sores, red spots on the skin;

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;

  • severe or ongoing nausea or vomiting;

  • blood in your urine or stools; or

  • weight loss.

Common side effects may include:

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 olaparib?

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

Other drugs may affect olaparib, 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.