Ribociclib (brand name-Kisqali) is an FDA-approved drug used in combination with another medication for hormone receptor-positive (depends on hormones such as estrogen to grow) advanced breast cancer or that has spread to other parts of the body in women who have not experienced menopause (change of life; end of monthly menstrual periods) and in those who are close to or who have already experienced menopause.
It is also used in combination with fulvestrant (Faslodex) to treat a certain type of hormone-receptor-positive advanced breast cancer or that has spread to other parts of the body as an initial treatment or in women who have already experienced menopause.
Ribociclib (Kisqali) 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 ribociclib.
How should I take ribociclib (Kisqali)?
Ribociclib (kisqali) comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food once daily in the morning for the first 21 days of a 28-day cycle. Take ribociclib (kisqali) at around the same time every day.
Take ribociclib (kisqali) exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them. Do not take tablets that are broken or crushed.
If you vomit after taking ribociclib, do not take another dose. Continue your regular dosing schedule. Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment with ribociclib.
Do not stop taking ribociclib without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of ribociclib (Kisqali)?
Common side effects
- Diarrhea (Dysentery)
- Abdominal Pain (Bellyache)
- Hair Loss (Alopecia)
- Back pain
- Excessive itching (Pruritus)
- Mucositis (Mouth sore)
- Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of Infection
- Fatigue (Tiredness)
- Appetite loss (Anorexia)
- Vomiting (Emesis)
Serious side effects
- Blistering or peeling of the skin
- Burning or blistering of the lips, eyes, or mouth
- Rapid, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath (Dyspnea); cough with or without mucus; or chest Pain
- Dizziness (Vertigo)
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Dark or brown (tea-colored) urine
- Pain in upper right side of stomach
- Bleeding or bruising more easily than normal
Ribociclib 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 ribociclib (Kisqali)
- tell your doctor about your allergies
- tell your doctor about other intakes
- tell your doctor if you have or ever had any other disease, symptom, or treatment
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you.
While you are on ribociclib (Kisqali)
- If you become pregnant while taking ribociclib, call your doctor immediately. Ribociclib may harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You should not breastfeed while taking ribociclib and for at least 3 weeks after your final dose.
- you should know that this medication may decrease fertility in men. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking ribociclib.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking ribociclib.
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 ribociclib?
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 while taking this medication.
Brand names of combination products
- Kisqali® Femera® (as a combination product containing Letrazole and Ribociclib)
Last Revised – 06/21/2023, FDA-updated – 12/15/2020, SG
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