Brigatinib (brand name- Alunbrig) is an FDA-approved treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body.
Brigatinib 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 slow or stop the spread of cancer cells.
Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about brigatinib.
How should I take brigatinib (Alunbrig)?
Brigatinib comes as a tablet to take by mouth with or without food once daily. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes. Swallow the tablets whole with water; do not split, chew, or crush them. Take brigatinib at around the same time every day.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes.
Do not stop taking abiraterone or prednisone without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of brigatinib (Alunbrig)?
Common side effects
- numbness, pain, tingling, or burning feeling in the feet or hands
- back or joint pain
- loss of appetite
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- blurred or double vision
- seeing flashes of light
- light hurting your eyes
- seeing ”floaters” or small specks
- cough with or without mucus
- weight loss
- muscle pain, spasms, tenderness, or weakness
Serious side effects
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- chest pain
- lightheadedness or feeling faint
- extreme thirst, frequent urination, and extreme hunger
- upper stomach pain that may spread to the back or get worse with eating
- slow or irregular heartbeat
Brigatinib 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 or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Use the free Ankr platform or Ankr app to track your symptoms.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking brigatinib or Alunbrig
- tell your doctor about your allergies
- tell your doctor about other intakes
- tell your doctor about any other disease, symptom, or therapy in the past or now
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or plan to father a child. Ask your doctor to help you choose a method of birth control that will work for you.
While you are on brigatinib or Alunbrig
- call your doctor if you become pregnant while you are on treatment. Brigatinib may harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with brigatinib and for up to 1 week after your final dose.
- you should know that this medication may decrease fertility in men.
I forgot a dose. What should I do?
Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
If you miss taking Brigatinib for 14 days or longer, talk to your doctor before starting to take it again. You will probably have to restart taking it at a lower dose.
In case of an emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
How should I safely store and dispose of Brigatinib (Alunbrig)?
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).
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. http://www.upandaway.org
You can dispose of unneeded medications 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 (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking Brigatinib.
Last Revised – 03/17/2023, FDA-updated- 05/22/ 2020, SG
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