Trametinib (Mekinist)

The basics

Trametinib (brand name- Mekinist) is an FDA-approved treatment used alone or in combination with dabrafenib (Tafinlar) for melanoma (a type of skin cancer), non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and thyroid cancer that cannot be treated with surgery or that has spread to other parts of the body. It is NOT used for treating Colo-rectal cancer.

Trametinib 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 stop the spread of cancer cells.

Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about trametinib.

How should I take Trametinib (Mekinist)?

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Trametinib comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Take trametinib at around the same time every day. Take trametinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking trametinib without talking to your doctor.

Your doctor may adjust your dose of trametinib depending on your response to treatment and any side effects that you experience. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.

What are the side effects of Trametinib Dimethyl Sulfoxide (Mekinist)?

Common side effects

Serious side effects

  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • bloody or black, tarry stools
  • coughing up or vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • nosebleed
  • severe diarrhea
  • Rapid, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest Pain
  • Swelling of the face, arms, legs, ankles, or feet
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Change in vision, including seeing halos (blurred outline around objects) or colored dots
  • Loss of vision
  • Eye pain
  • Dry, red, or swollen eyes
  • Rash, red skin, or pimples
  • Wart
  • A reddish bump that bleeds or does not heal
  • Change in size or color of a mole
  • Increased thirst

Trametinib 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 trametinib (Mekinist)

  • 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 or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while you are taking trametinib. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you.

While you are on trametinib (Mekinist)

  • If you become pregnant while taking trametinib, call your doctor. Trametinib may harm the fetus.
  • tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You should not breastfeed while taking trametinib and for 4 months after your final dose.
  • tell your doctor if you or your partner doctor plan to have baby. Trametininb may low fertility.

I forgot a dose. What should I do?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is less than 12 hours until your next scheduled dose, 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 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:

  • vision problems

How should I safely store and dispose of trametinib (Mekinist)?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, away from moisture and light, and out of the reach of children. Do not place the tablets in other containers, such as daily or weekly pill boxes. Store it in a refrigerator, but do not freeze it. Do not remove the desiccant (small packet included with medication to absorb moisture) from your bottle.

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.

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 ( for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

Brand names

  • Mekinist®

Last Revised – 12/26/2023, FDA-updated – 07/31/2023, SG

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DISCLAIMER: No part of this content constitutes medical advice, opinion, or should be used for medical decision making without consultation with a licenced medical practitioner and under a patient-provider relationship. All information on the website is provided without any claims of accuracy. For full terms and conditions, visit this link. Content curated by the Ankr team.

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