Before you start XALKORI
Before you start XALKORI it’s important to talk with your doctor about all your health issues and the other medications you are taking, including prescription, over the counter, and herbal remedies.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you:
have heart problems, including a condition called long QT syndrome
have liver or kidney problems
have any other medical conditions
are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant. XALKORI may harm your unborn baby.
- Women who are able to become pregnant and men who take XALKORI should use birth control during treatment and for 3 months after stopping XALKORI.
- Talk to your doctor about the birth control methods that may be right for you.
- If you or your partner becomes pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if XALKORI passes into your breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you will take XALKORI or breastfeed. You should not do both.
Especially tell your doctor if you take:
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- depression (antidepressants)
- fungal infections (antifungals)
- bacterial infections (antibiotics)
- tuberculosis (TB)
- heart conditions
Your doctor may change the dose of some of your other medicines or choose different ones while you are taking XALKORI.
How to take XALKORI
XALKORI is a pill you take twice a day, with or without food. If your doctor prescribes XALKORI, make sure you:
take XALKORI exactly as your doctor tells you
swallow XALKORI capsules whole
do not crush, dissolve, or open capsules
XALKORI may be taken with or without food
do not change your dose or stop taking XALKORI unless your doctor tells you
do not take more than 1 dose of XALKORI at a time
do not drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit as long as you are taking XALKORI. It can make the amount of XALKORI in your blood increase to a harmful level.
call your doctor right away if you take too much XALKORI
XALKORI should be taken twice a day, without interruption. In other words, there are no "cycles" or scheduled times when you should stop taking XALKORI and then begin taking it again. Your doctor will regularly check your blood and heart during treatment.
What if you miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of XALKORI, take it as soon as you remember EXCEPT if your next scheduled dose is in less than 6 hours. In that case, just take the next pill at your regular time. But be sure to tell your doctor or nurse about your missed dose at your next visit.
How will you know if XALKORI is working?
It’s important to keep taking XALKORI exactly as directed until your doctor tells you to stop. Regular scans by your cancer-care team will reveal whether your tumor is responding to treatment with XALKORI. Your doctor will determine when those scans should be scheduled. Your doctor will also order monthly blood tests to check for liver problems.
What about side effects?
XALKORI has side effects you should know about before you start taking it. Some are serious and occur rarely, while others are more common.
Serious side effects of XALKORI include liver problems and swelling of the lungs (pneumonitis), which can be life-threatening or fatal, and very fast or abnormal heartbeats.
The most common side effects with XALKORI are visual effects such as flashes of light, blurred vision, and increased floaters. These symptoms usually occurred in the first two weeks of treatment. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience light flashes, new or increased floaters, blurred vision, or light hurting your eyes.
Other common side effects can include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, swelling of hands and feet, and constipation.
These are not all of the possible side effects of XALKORI. For more information, please see the Full Prescribing and Patient Information.
As always, it's important to keep your cancer-care team aware of how you're feeling. But it's even more important when you’re starting a new treatment like XALKORI. If you experience any new or worsening symptoms, it's important to tell your doctor right away.
XALKORI is only available through specialty pharmacies. On the next page, we’ll discuss how to get XALKORI and how to get help paying for it if you are eligible.