Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond
Generic Name: Dasatinib
SPRYCEL is the trade name for the generic chemotherapy drug Dasatinib. In some
cases, health care professionals may use the trade name SPRYCEL when referring to
the generic drug name Dasatinib.
Drug Type: SPRYCEL
is a targeted therapy. SPRYCEL is classified as a signal transduction inhibitor
- tyrosine kinase inhibitor. (For more detail, see "How this drug works" below).
What SPRYCEL Is Used For:
- Treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) with resistance or intolerance to
- Treatment of Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia
(ALL) with resistance or intolerance to prior therapy.
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 SPRYCEL Is Given:
- SPRYCEL is a tablet to be taken by mouth.
- SPRYCEL may be taken with or without food.
- Do not break, crush or chew SPRYCEL tablets.
- If you miss a dose of SPRYCEL, take your next scheduled dose at its regular time.
Do not take 2 doses of SPRYCEL at the same time. Call your healthcare provider
if you are not sure what to do.
- The amount of SPRYCEL that you will receive depends on many factors, such as
the type of cancer or condition you have. Your doctor will determine your exact
dosage and schedule.
Important things to remember about the side effects of SPRYCEL:
- You will not get all of the SPRYCEL side effects mentioned below.
- SPRYCEL side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, duration, and
- SPRYCEL side effects are almost always reversible and will go away after therapy
- SPRYCEL side effects are quite manageable. There are many options to minimize or
The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for
patients taking SPRYCEL:
- Low blood counts. Your white and red
blood cells and platelets may temporarily decrease. This can put you at increased
risk for infection, anemia and/or bleeding.
- Muscle and bone pain
- Fluid retention: fluid accumulation in legs
and around the eyes. In more severe cases (9% in clinical studies) fluid may
accumulate in the lining of the lungs (pleural effusion), in the sac around the
heart (pericardial effusion) or abdominal cavity (ascites). Notify your health
care provider immediately if you experience swelling, weight gain or increasing
shortness of breath.
These are less common (occurring in 10-29%) side effects for patients receiving
This list includes common and less
common side effects for those taking SPRYCEL. 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
Effects On Fertility: The effects of SPRYCEL on male and female fertility (meaning,
your ability to conceive or father a child), have not been studied.
However, studies in lab animals indicate the potential for SPRYCEL to impair reproductive
function and fertility. Discuss this issue with your health care provider.
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)
- Experience bleeding or easy bruising.
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:
- Swelling, weight gain, or increasing shortness of breath.
- 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.
- Before starting SPRYCEL treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any
other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins,
herbal remedies, etc.). Do not take aspirin, products
containing aspirin unless your doctor specifically permits this.
- SPRYCEL interacts with
many common medications. Be sure to notify your doctor before starting any
- Do not receive any kind of immunization or
vaccination without your doctor’s approval while taking SPRYCEL.
- Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior
to starting SPRYCEL treatment. Pregnancy category D (SPRYCEL may be hazardous
to the fetus. Women who are pregnant or become pregnant must be advised of the potential
hazard to the fetus.)
- For both men and women: Use contraceptives, and do not conceive a child (get pregnant)
while taking SPRYCEL. Barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, are recommended.
- Do not breast feed while taking SPRYCEL.
- Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed
- 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.
- To help treat/prevent mouth sores, use a soft toothbrush, and rinse three times
a day with 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 8 ounces of water.
- 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-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and
eat small, frequent meals.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
- 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.
- 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:
You will be checked regularly by your doctor while you are taking SPRYCEL, 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 SPRYCEL 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 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, thus 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 are also known as monoclonal antibodies. Antiangiogenesis
inhibitors target the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the cells, ultimately
causing the cells to starve.
SPRYCEL belongs to the signal transduction inhibitor category of targeted therapies.
It particularly interferes with multiple protein-tyrosine kinases.
Research continues to identify which cancers may be best treated with targeted
therapies and to identify additional targets for more types of cancer.
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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