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  • Generic Name: (nilotinib)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 02/2015
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Tasigna is an anticancer medicine used to treat certain types of leukemia in people who did not tolerate or are no longer benefitting from other treatments (including imatinib).

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Tasigna works by inhibiting the proteins responsible for the growth of cancer cells and by improving normal blood cell counts.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: Tasigna has been shown to be effective in treating certain types of leukemia.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Tasigna exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly to check how well this medication is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      More common side effects may include: nausea, rash, headache, tiredness, itching, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, constipation, muscle and joint pain, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, fever, night sweats.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Decreased blood flow to your legs, heart, or brain with symptoms such as chest pain or discomfort, numbness or weakness, problems walking or speaking, leg pain, cold legs, changes in the skin color of your legs.

      Low blood cell counts with symptoms such as unexplained bleeding or bruising, blood in your urine or stool, unexplained weakness, and shortness of breath.

      Serious heart rhythm changes, with symptoms such as fast or slow heartbeat, or fainting.

      Liver problems with symptoms such as itching, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, dark-colored urine, and pain or discomfort in the right upper stomach area.

      Pancreatitis (inflammation of your pancreas) with symptoms such as sudden stomach area pain with nausea and vomiting.

      Bleeding in the brain with symptoms such as headache, changes in your eyesight, and loss of consciousness.

      Tumor lysis syndrome (a condition caused by a sudden breakdown of cancer cells), which may lead to kidney problems and cause abnormal heartbeat.

      Harm your unborn baby if taken during pregnancy. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you believe or suspect you are pregnant while you are taking Tasigna.

      Fluid retention with symptoms such as shortness of breath, rapid weight gain, and swelling.

      Tasigna may also cause bleeding.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Tasigna if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take Tasigna if you have low blood potassium or magnesium levels or if you have a heart condition called prolonged QT interval (very fast or abnormal heartbeats).

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Tasigna. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart problems, an irregular heartbeat (including prolonged QT interval); liver problems; low blood potassium or magnesium levels; have a history of stroke or other problems due to decreased blood flow to the brain or to your legs; bleeding problems; have had pancreatitis or a surgical removal of your stomach; if you are lactose intolerant; or are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your condition and may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

      If you are taking certain other medicines or have liver impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.


    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Tasigna exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Tasigna without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Take Tasigna on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or at least 2 hours after a meal. Swallow Tasigna capsules whole with water.

      If you cannot swallow Tasigna capsules whole, you may open the capsules and sprinkle the contents on 1 teaspoon of applesauce. Do not use more than 1 teaspoon of applesauce or sprinkle Tasigna onto other foods. Swallow the applesauce mixture right away within 15 minutes; do not store for future use.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not drink grapefruit juice, eat grapefruit, or take supplements containing grapefruit extract while you are taking Tasigna.

      Do not become pregnant while you are taking Tasigna.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Tasigna is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Tasigna may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Tasigna may harm your unborn baby if you take it during pregnancy. Do not become pregnant or breastfeed while you are taking Tasigna. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Tasigna, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing scheduler. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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