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Dasatinib (Sprycel®)


Brand name: Sprycel®  


Generic name: Dasatinib 

Therapeutic Class: protein-tyrosine kinase inhibitors 

Manufacturer / Distributor: Bristol-Myers Squibb 

Availability: Sprycel is available by prescription only 

FDA Approval: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved SPRYCEL® (dasatinib) in 2006 for the treatment of certain types of cancers (see indications) 

Indications:  Dasatinib is used to treat the following cancerous conditions: 

  • metastatic melanoma 
  • chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), in case of resistance or intolerance to prior therapy; 
  • Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph + ALL) in adults, in case of resistance or intolerance to prior therapy.

Dasatinib is sometimes used to treat other medical conditions not mentioned in this article; talk to your physician or pharmacist for more information.  

Dosage form: Dasatinib is available in tablet form to be taken by mouth 

Dosage: to choose the most effective dosage to combat the disease, your physician will rely on several factors: age, health status, body surface area (BSA), type and severity of the cancer. Usually, lower doses are given to patients that are taking other drugs. Misusing Dasatinib can cause serious health problems; it should be prescribed by an oncologist or physician trained or experienced in the use of chemotherapy drugs.  Do not change or stop taking the medication even if you experience side effects; chemotherapy drugs – including Dasatinib - cause side effects in most patients. 

Usually, Dasatinib is taken 2 times daily, 1 tablet in the morning and 1 tablet in the evening, with or without food. It is better to take the medicine around the same times every day. DASATINIB should be swallow whole, do not chew or crush the tablet. In addition, avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating foods rich in fat during the therapy.   

Taking Dasatinib exactly as directed by your doctor is very important. If for valid reasons (such as development of major complications) you cannot continue the therapy, contact your physician immediately; do not discontinue the treatment without first contacting your doctor.  

Storage:  keep Dasatinib tightly closed in the container it came, out of the reach of children. Store  Dasatinib at room temperature (15-25 ° C), away from heat above 40 ° C, light and moisture. Dasatinib and all other medications should not be used beyond the expiration date printed on the container.   

Overdose:  any chemotherapy drug overdose can be fatal. The risk of complication is even higher when the drug is overdosed for a long term. In fact, overdosing of certain chemotherapy drugs, including Dasatinib, can lead to death. Even in the absence of overdose, Dasatinib can damage the bone marrow.  It is extremely important that you take the medication as indicated by your health care provider or according to the directions on the label.    

Missing dose: do your best to take the medication around the same time every day.  In case you forget to take a dose, take the missed one as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, do not double the next dose to recover the missed one. Contact your doctor or wait to go back to your regular schedule.    

Contraindication : Dasatinib is contraindicated in case of:  

  • allergy to the drug or any of the constituents 
  • allergy to lactose  
  • pregnancy  
  • Breast-feeding.    

Mechanism of action (MOA): Dasatinib is a protein-tyrosine kinase inhibitor. That is, it works by blocking the protein kinases, proteins that are located within the leukemic cells, and are responsible for their uncontrolled proliferation.  

Interactions:  if you are taking Dasatinib, it is better to talk to your doctor before taking aspirin, vitamins, nutritional supplements, or St. John's wort. Certain substances can interact with Dasatinib, et cause health problems. Common drugs that tend to produce interaction with Dasatinib include: 

  • alfentanil (Alfenta)
  • doxorubicin (Doxil)
  • Itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • erythromycin (Erythrocin)
  • indinavir (Crixivan)
  • saquinavir (Invirase)
  • dofetilide (Tikosyn) 
  • moricizine (Ethmozine)
  • sotalol (Betapace) 
  • famotidine (Pepcid) 
  • esomeprazole (Nexium)
  • pantoprazole (Protonix) 
  • phenobarbital (Luminal) 
  • nefazodone; pimozide (Orap)
  • telithromycin (Ketek)
  • warfarin (Coumadin) 
  • simvastatin (Zocor)epirubicin (Ellence)
  • clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • fentanyl (Duragesic, Actiq)
  • nelfinavir (Viracept)
  • amiodarone (Cordarone)
  • flecainide (Tambocor)
  • propafenone (Rythmol)
  • tocainide (Tonocard) 
  • nizatidine (Axid)
  • lansoprazole (Prevacid)
  • rabeprazole (AcipHex)
  • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • rifampicin (Rimactane)
  • procainamide (Procanbid, Pronestyl)
  • daunorubicin (Cerubidine)
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • dexamethasone (Decadron)
  • atazanavir (Reyataz)
  • ritonavir (Norvir)
  • disopyramide (Norpace)
  • mexiletine (Mexitil) 
  • quinidine (Quinidex)
  • cimetidine (Tagamet®)
  • ranitidine (Zantac)
  • omeprazole (Prilosec)
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • moxifloxacin (Avelox)

Side effects: In addition to attacking cancer cells, Dasatinib may interfere with certain normal cells, and lead to the development of side effects in some patients; most common Dasatinib side effects include: 

  •   headache 
  •   muscle pain  
  •   tiredness 
  •   loss of appetite 
  •   weight loss 
  •   weakness 
  •   joint pain or pain in your hands or the feet 
  •   skin rash 
  •   peeling skin 
  •   mouth sores or swelling and pain inside your mouth 
  •   diarrhea 
  •   constipation 
  •   nausea and vomiting 
  •   Stomach pain or swelling.  

If the side effects above persist for weeks, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms: 

  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • signs of infections: fever, sore throat, chills,...
  • sudden severe headache
  • swelling of the eyes, hands, arms, feet, ankles or lower legs
  • sudden weight gain
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • coughing up bloody mucus
  • persistent chest pain or chest pressure
  • rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • black and tarry stools
  • blood in stools or urine
  • bloody vomit
  • slow or difficult speech
  • Weakness or numbness of an arm or leg.