Neratinib (brand name- Nerlynx) is an FDA-approved treatment for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer (breast cancer that depends on hormones such as estrogen to grow) in adults after treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and other medications. It is used along with capecitabine (Xeloda) to treat advanced hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
Neratinib 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 neratinib.
How should I take neratinib (Nerlynx)?
Neratinib comes as a tablet to take by mouth. When neratinib is taken alone to treat breast cancer, it is usually taken with food once daily for one year. Take neratinib at around the same time every day. Take neratinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes.
Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment. Continue to take neratinib even if you feel well. Do not stop taking neratinib without talking to your Doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of neratinib (Nerlynx)?
Common side effects
Serious side effects
- dark urine
- pain or discomfort in the right upper stomach area
- difficulty urinating, pain when urinating, and other signs of infection
Neratinib 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 neratinib (Nerlynx)
- tell your doctor about your allergies
- tell your doctor about other intakes
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any other disease, symptom, or treatment.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or if you plan on fathering a child. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that you can use during your treatment.
While you are on neratinib (Nerlynx)
- If you become pregnant while taking neratinib, call your doctor immediately. Neratinib may harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You should not breastfeed while taking neratinib and for up to 1 month after your final dose.
- you should know that neratinib often causes diarrhea, which can be severe. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any dehydration symptoms: extreme thirst, dry mouth and/or skin, decreased urination, or fast heartbeat.
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.
How should I safely store and dispose of neratinib (Nerlynx)?
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.
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.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this medication.
Last Revised – 06/19/2023, FDA-updated- 05/15/2020, SG
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