What is the most important information I should know about alpelisib?
Call your doctor right away if you have severe diarrhea.
What is alpelisib?
Alpelisib is used in men and postmenopausal women with HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer that is advanced or has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic).
Alpelisib is used only if your cancer has a specific genetic marker (an abnormal "PIK3CA" gene). Your doctor will test you for this gene.
Alpelisib is given in combination with fulvestrant (Faslodex).
Alpelisib may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking alpelisib?
You should not use alpelisib if you are allergic to it.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- diabetes; or
- a severe skin rash (skin pain, redness, peeling, burning eyes, blistering of your lips or mouth).
Although, alpelisib is for use only in women who can no longer get pregnant, you may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment. Tell your doctor if you think you may be pregnant.
Alpelisib and fulvestrant both can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects if the mother or the father is using these medicines.
- If you are a woman, do not use alpelisib if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using alpelisib and for at least 1 week after your last dose.
- If you are a man, use condoms and effective birth control if your sex partner is pregnant or is able to get pregnant. Keep using birth control for at least 1 week after your last dose.
- Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using alpelisib.
- Women who also take fulvestrant may need to prevent pregnancy for at least 1 year after treatment ends. Ask your doctor about all how long to keep using birth control.
Alpelisib and fulvestrant may affect fertility (ability to have children) in both men and women. However, it is important to use birth control to prevent pregnancy because these medicines can harm an unborn baby.
Do not breastfeed while using alpelisib, and for at least 1 week after your last dose. You may not be able to breastfeed for 1 year after your last dose of fulvestrant. Ask your doctor.
How should I take alpelisib?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Take alpelisib tablets with food, at the same time each day.
Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it. Do not use a cracked or broken tablet.
If you vomit shortly after taking alpelisib, do not take another dose. Wait until your next scheduled dose time to take the medicine again.
Alpelisib can cause severe diarrhea, which can be life-threatening if it leads to dehydration or kidney damage.
If you have diarrhea while taking alpelisib: start taking anti-diarrhea medicine such as loperamide (Imodium) to quickly treat diarrhea. Drink extra fluids and call your doctor.
Fulvestrant is an injection that is usually given once every 2 weeks at first, and then once a month. A healthcare professional will give you this injection.
Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office.
Alpelisib and fulvestrant are usually given until your body no longer responds to the treatment, or until you have a serious side effect. Your doctor will determine how long to treat you.
Store alpelisib at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep each tablet in the blister pack until you are ready to take one.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine (with food) as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if you are more than 9 hours late for the dose. Do not use two doses at one time.
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your fulvestrant injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking alpelisib?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
What are the possible side effects of alpelisib?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, warmth or tingling, difficult breathing, fast heartbeats, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).
Seek medical treatment if you have a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include: skin rash, fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- chest pain, cough, feeling short of breath;
- severe or ongoing diarrhea;
- blisters or ulcers in your mouth, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing;
- pale skin, unusual tiredness, cold hands and feet;
- little or no urination; or
- high blood sugar --increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, confusion, hunger, weight loss;
Your cancer treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.
Common side effects may include:
- nausea, vomiting;
- loss of appetite, weight loss;
- feeling weak or tired;
- mouth sores;
- hair loss; or
- abnormal blood tests.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect alpelisib?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Other drugs may affect alpelisib, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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