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Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond

Tazemetostat

(TAZ-e-MET-oh-stat)

Trade Name(s): Tazverik®

Tazemetostat is the generic name for the trade name drug Tazverik. In some cases, health care professionals may use the trade name Tazverik when referring to the generic drug name Tazemetostat.

Drug Type: Tazemetostat is a targeted therapy. It is classified as an EZH2 inhibitor or a histone methyltransferase inhibitor (for more information, see "How Tazemetostat Works" below).

What Tazemetostat Is Used For

  • Tazemetostat is used to treat locally advanced and metastatic epithelioid sarcoma.

Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.

How Tazemetostat Is Given

  • Tazemetostat is given orally as a tablet twice daily. The recommended dose is 800mg (4 tablets) two times a day.

The amount of tazemetostat that you will receive depends on many factors, including your liver function, your general health or health problems, and other medications you are taking. Your doctor will determine your exact dosage and schedule.

Side Effects

Important things to remember about the side effects of Tazemetostat:

  • Most people will not experience all of the Tazemetostat side effects listed.
  • Tazemetostat side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, duration and severity.
  • Tazemetostat side effects will improve after therapy is complete.
  • Tazemetostat side effects may be quite manageable. There are many options to minimize or prevent the side effects of Tazemetostat.

The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients taking Tazemetostat:

These are less common side effects (occurring in 10-29%) for patients receiving Tazemetostat:

Not all side effects are listed above. Side effects that are very rare -- occurring in less than about 10 percent of patients -- are not listed here. But you should always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.

When to Contact Your Doctor or Health Care Provider

Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.4┬║ F (38┬║ C) or higher, chills (possible signs of infection)

The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:

  • Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication)
  • Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24-hour period)
  • Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
  • Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers)

Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.

Tazemetostat Precautions

  • Before starting Tazemetostat treatemnt, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.).
  • Avoid St. John's Wort, grapefruit, and grapefruit juice while taking Tazemetostat.
  • Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor's approval while taking Tazemetostat.
  • Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. Pregnancy category X (Tazemetostat may cause fetal harm when given to a pregnant woman. This drug must not be given to a pregnant woman or a woman who intends to become pregnant. If a woman becomes pregnant while taking Tazemetostat, the medication must be stopped immediately, and the woman given appropriate counseling).
  • For both men and women: use contraceptives, and do not conceive a child (get pregnant) while taking Tazemetostat. Barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, are recommended for up to 3 months after last dose of Tazemetostat.
  • Do not breast feed while taking Tazemetostat.

Self-Care Tips

  • Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
  • You may be at risk of infection so try to avoid crowds or people with colds, and report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your health care provider.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
  • Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
  • To reduce nausea, take anti-diarrhea medication as prescribed by your health care professional.
  • Follow regimen of anti-diarrhea medication as prescribed by your health care professional.
  • Eat foods that may help reduce diarrhea (see managing side effects - diarrhea).
  • In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Maintain good nutrition.
  • Remain active as you are able. Gentle exercise is encouraged such as a daily walk. If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.

Monitoring and Testing While Taking Tazemetostat

You will be checked regularly by your doctor while you are taking Tazemetostat, to monitor side effects and check your response to therapy. Periodic blood work will be obtained to monitor your complete blood count (CBC) as well as the function of other organs (such as your kidneys and liver) will also be ordered by your doctor.

How Tazemetostat Works

Targeted therapy is the result of about 100 years of research dedicated to understanding the differences between cancer cells and normal cells. To date, cancer treatment has focused primarily on killing rapidly dividing cells because one feature of cancer cells is that they divide rapidly. Unfortunately, some of our normal cells divide rapidly too, causing multiple side effects.

Targeted therapy is about identifying other features of cancer cells. Scientists look for specific differences in the cancer cells and the normal cells. This information is used to create a targeted therapy to attack the cancer cells without damaging the normal cells, this leading to fewer side effects. Each type of targeted therapy works a little bit differently, but all interfere with the ability of the cancer cell to grow, divide, repair and/or communicate with other cells.

There are different types of targeted therapies, defined in three broad categories. Some targeted therapies focus on the internal components and function of the cancer cell. The targeted therapies use small molecules that can get into the cell and disrupt the function of the cells, causing them to die. There are several types of targeted therapy that focus on the inner parts of the cells. Other targeted therapies target receptors that are on the outside of the cell. Therapies that target receptors from outside the cell are often monoclonal antibodies. Antiangiogenesis inhibitors target the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the cells, ultimately causing the cells to starve.

Tazemetostat is a targeted therapy that binds and inhibits the histone methyltransferase EZH2 (enhancer of zeste homolog 2). EZH2 is overexpressed or mutated in many cancer types and plays a role in tumor growth. Tazemetostat has anti-tumor activity in cancers that have an EZH2 mutation and prevents the cancer cells from growing.

Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational but is not a substitute for medical advice.

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