Cobimetinib (brand name- Cotellic) is an FDA-approved treatment used along with vemurafenib (Zelboraf) for 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.
Cobimetinib 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 cobimetinib.
How should I take cobimetinib (Cotellic)?
Cobimetinib comes as a tablet to take by mouth with or without food. It is usually taken once daily for the first 21 days of a 28-day cycle. Take cobimetinib 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.
Take cobimetinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes. If you vomit after taking cobimetinib do not take another dose. Continue your regular dosing schedule.
Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment with cobimetinib.
What are the side effects of cobimetinib (Cotellic)?
Common side effects
- mouth ulcers
- hair Loss (alopecia)
- diarrhea (loose stools)
- rash that covers a large area of your body, blisters, or peeling skin
- changes in skin appearance
- new wart
- change in size or color of a mole
- tarry or black stools
- blood in the urine
- coughing or wheezing
- swelling of the face, arms, legs, ankles, or feet
- muscle pain or weakness
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- pain in upper right part of the stomach
- vomiting (emesis)
- appetite loss (anorexia)
Serious side effects
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- dizziness (vertigo)
- change in vision, including seeing halos (blurred outline around objects)
- unusual vaginal bleeding
- skin sore or red bump that bleeds or does not heal
- rapid, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- dark-colored (tea-colored) urine
Cobimetinib may increase the risk that you will develop new skin cancers. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.
Cobimetinib 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).
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking cobimetinib or Cotellic
- tell your doctor about your allergies
- tell your doctor about other intakeds
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any disease, symptom, or treatment in the past or now
While you are on cobimetinib or Cotellic
- you or your partner should not be pregnant while you are taking cobimetinib. Talk to your doctor about the birth control method appropriate for you. Cobimetinib may harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with cobimetinib
- plan to take necessary precautions as cobimetinib may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
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.
In case of 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 cobimetinib or Cotellic?
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 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?
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this medication.
FDA Revised – 12/15/2015, Last revision- 06/07/2023, SG
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