Dabrafenib is used alone or in combination with another medication (trametinib [Mekinist]) to treat a certain types of melanoma (a type of skin cancer) that cannot be treated with surgery or that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also used along with trametinib to treat and prevent the return of a certain type of melanoma after surgery to remove it and any affected lymph nodes. Dabrafenib is also used in combination with trametinib to treat a certain type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to nearby tissues or to other parts of the body. It is also used to treat a certain type of thyroid cancer that has spread to nearby tissues or to other parts of the body and has not responded to previous treatment(s). Dabrafenib is in a class of medications called kinase inhibitors. It works by blocking the action of an abnormal protein that signals cancer cells to multiply. This helps stop the spread of cancer cells.
Dabrafenib comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Take dabrafenib about 12 hours apart at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take dabrafenib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking dabrafenib without talking to your doctor.
Swallow the capsules whole; do not open, break, or crush them.
Your doctor may adjust your dose or temporarily or permanently stop your treatment depending on your response to treatment and any side effects that you experience. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with dabrafenib and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website ( Web Site) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking dabrafenib,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is less than 6 hours until your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Dabrafenib may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms call your doctor immediately:
Dabrafenib may increase the risk that you will develop new skin cancers or other cancers. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.
Dabrafenib may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests before and during your treatment to check your body's response to dabrafenib. Your doctor will check your skin for any changes before, every 2 months during your treatment, and for up to 6 months after treatment.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.