What is this medication?
ABEMACICLIB (a BEM a SYE klib) treats breast cancer. It works by blocking a protein that causes cancer cells to grow and multiply. This helps to slow or stop the spread of cancer cells.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): VERZENIO
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Blood clots
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Low white blood cell counts
- Lung disease
- An unusual or allergic reaction to abemaciclib, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Do not cut, crush, or chew this medication. Swallow the tablets whole. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Your care team may change your dose or tell you to stop taking this medication if you get side effects. Do not change your dose or stop taking it unless your care team tells you to.
Do not take this medication with grapefruit juice.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, skip it. Take your next dose at the normal time. Do not take extra or 2 doses at the same time to make up for the missed dose.
What may interact with this medication?
- Certain antibiotics, such as erythromycin or clarithromycin
- Certain antivirals for HIV or hepatitis
- Certain medications for fungal infections, such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole
- Certain medications for seizures, such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
- Grapefruit juice
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medication. You may need blood work while taking this medication.
This medication may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your care team tells you to stop.
This medication may increase your risk of getting an infection. Call your care team for advice if you get a fever, chills, sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
Avoid taking medications that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your care team. These medications may hide a fever.
Be careful brushing or flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medication.
Talk to your care team if you may be pregnant. Serious birth defects can occur if you take this medication during pregnancy and for 3 weeks after the last dose. You will need a negative pregnancy test before starting this medication. Contraception is recommended while taking this medication and for 3 weeks after the last dose. Your care team can help you find the option that works for you.
Do not breastfeed while taking this medication and for 3 weeks after the last dose.
This medication may cause infertility. Talk to your care team if you are concerned about your fertility.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Blood clot—pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg, shortness of breath, chest pain
- Dry cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Infection—fever, chills, cough, sore throat, wounds that don't heal, pain or trouble when passing urine, general feeling of discomfort or being unwell
- Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
- Low red blood cell level—unusual weakness or fatigue, dizziness, headache, trouble breathing
- Severe or prolonged diarrhea
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report these to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Hair loss
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
- Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
- If you cannot return the medication, ask your pharmacist or care team how to get rid of this medication safely.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Abemaciclib
- Follow regimen of anti-diarrhea medication as prescribed by your health care professional. You should begin to take anti-diarrhea medication at the first sign of loose stool.
- 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.
- To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctors, and eat small, frequent meals.
- 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.
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 100.4º F (38º 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)
- Loose stools
- 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)
- Pain on the upper right side of your stomach area (abdomen)
- Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers)
- Swelling, redness and/or pain in one leg or arm and not the other
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.