Olaparib (brand name-Lynparza) is an FDA-approved treatment for ovarian (female reproductive organs where eggs are formed), fallopian tube (tube that transports eggs released by the ovaries to the uterus), and peritoneal (layer of tissue that lines the abdomen), breast, pancreatic cancer in people who have completely responded or partially responded to their first or later chemotherapy treatments.
They are also used to treat a certain type of prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, no longer responds to medical or surgical treatments to lower testosterone levels, and has progressed after treatment with enzalutamide (Xtandi) or abiraterone (Yonsa, Zytiga).
Olaparib is a polyadenosine 5′-diphosphoribose polymerase (PARP) enzyme inhibitor. It works by killing cancer cells.
Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about olaparib.
How should I take Olaparib (Lynparza)?
Olaparib comes as a tablet or a capsule to take by mouth twice daily with or without food. Try to space your doses about 12 hours apart. Take olaparib 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 olaparib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes.
Swallow the tablet or capsule whole; do not crush chew, divide, or dissolve them. Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment with olaparib.
Do not stop taking olaparib without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of Olaparib?
Common side effects
- decreased appetite
- muscle, joint, or back pain
- stomach pain or discomfort
- taste changes
- mouth pain or sores
- weight loss
- dry skin
- cough, or wheezing
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- pain urinating
- sore throat, or other signs of infection
Olaparib 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 olaparib (Lynparza)
- 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 plan to father a child. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you.
While you are on olaparib (Lynparza)
- If you become pregnant while taking olaparib, call your doctor immediately. Olaparib may harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while taking olaparib and for 1 month after your final dose.
- you should know that you should not donate sperm while taking olaparib tablets and for 3 months after your final dose.
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 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 olaparib (Lynparza)?
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 cannot access a take-back program.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Do not eat grapefruit or Seville oranges (sometimes used in marmalades), or drink grapefruit juice or Seville orange juice while taking this medication.
Last Revised – 06/19/2023, FDA-updated-07/15/2020, SG
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