Nilotinib, a drug branded as Tasigna, is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor molecule used in the treatment of imatinib-resistant chronic myelogenous leukemia. Nilotinib works by blocking the action of the abnormal protein that signals cancer cells to multiply. This help in stopping the spread of cancer cells hence preventing infections of tumors in the body.
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Nilotinib is employed in the treatment of people with Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia. Nilotinib can as well be used for people who are newly diagnosed with imatinib-resistant chronic leukemia. Chronic myelogenous leukemia can be seen by the following symptoms in the body; enlarged spleen and liver, upper quadratic pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, mild fever, night sweats, bone pain, and increase in bone marrow fibrosis. Nilotinib is a kinase inhibitor that works by preventing the growth of tumors by reducing the action of the protein that controls cell division; this reduces the growth and survival of cancer cells.
Nilotinib is a long-term treatment and should be taken as long as your hematologist instructs. A regular blood test is recommended for the treatment with Nilotinib to check how the drug is working. Nilotinib is taken on an empty stomach with a lot of water to reduce instances of side effects. Grapefruit is highly discouraged during the treatment with Nilotinib since it can worsen side effects. The physician has not prescribed Nilotinib dosage to pediatrics; however, the standard adult dosage is given as below: Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia for Adults:
- 300 mg orally after 12 hours a day.
- 400 mg orally after approximately 12 hours apart.
Nilotinib Side Effects
Listed are some side effects accompanied by the use of Nilotinib medication, however, consult your healthcare professional other possible side effects. Seek emergency help in case you experience the following common side effects of Nilotinib.
- Back pain;
- bone, joint, or muscle aches;
- constipation; diarrhea;
- dry skin;
- hair loss;
- loss of appetite;
- mild itching;
- muscle spasms;
- night sweats;
- runny or stuffy nose;
Severe side effects of Nilotinib include:
- Troubled breath;
- tightness in the chest;
- Swelling of the mouth,
- Chest pain;
- irregular heartbeat;
Nilotinib can interact with other medications that may result in more harm to the body. Before you start using Nilotinib medication, ensure that the doctor is aware of the medications you are using and those you plan to use. Some of the drugs that may interact with Nilotinib include:
- Antiarrhythmic (Amiodarone, disopyramide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol,)
- protease inhibitors (eg, atazanavir, boceprevir, ritonavir);
- oral midazolam,
- sirolimus, or tacrolimus
- proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (eg, omeprazole),