What is this medication?
OSIMERTINIB (OH sim ER ti nib) treats lung 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): Tagrisso
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Heart disease
- Eye disease
- High or low levels of electrolytes, such as magnesium, potassium, or sodium in your blood
- History of blood diseases, such as aplastic anemia
- Irregular heartbeat or rhythm
- Lung disease
- An unusual or allergic reaction to osimertinib, 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. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop. 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.
When using tablets to make a suspension: Place the tablet in a glass of water (2 ounces). Stir until the tablet is in small pieces (it will not completely dissolve). Do not crush or heat the mixture. Drink the mixture right away. Repeat adding 4 to 8 ounces of water, swirling, and drinking the mixture right away. If you are giving this medication into a feeding tube, flush the tube with water before and after the dose.
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?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
This medication may interact with the following:
- Other medications that cause heart rhythm changes
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?
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 cause infertility. Talk to your care team if you are concerned about your fertility.
Males who get this medication must use a condom during sex with females who can get pregnant. If you get a woman pregnant, there is potential for serious harm to an unborn child. You will need to continue wearing a condom for 4 months after stopping the medication. Tell your care team right away if you think your partner might be pregnant.
Talk to your care team if you wish to become pregnant or think you might be pregnant. This medication can cause serious birth defects if taken during pregnancy. A negative pregnancy test is required before starting this medication. A reliable form of contraception is recommended while taking this medication and for 6 weeks after stopping it. Do not breast-feed while taking this medication and for 2 weeks after stopping it.
This medication may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medication. Contact your care team right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. You may also notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips, or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.
Tell your care team right away if you have any change in your eyesight.
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 care team you are receiving this medication.
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
- Aplastic anemia—unusual weakness or fatigue, dizziness, headache, trouble breathing, increased bleeding or bruising
- Dry cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Eye pain, redness, irritation, or discharge with blurry or decreased vision
- Heart failure—shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles, feet, or hands, sudden weight gain, unusual weakness or fatigue
- Heart rhythm changes—fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
- Infection—fever, chills, cough, or sore throat
- Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- Unusual weakness or fatigue, fever, headache, skin rash, muscle or joint pain, loss of appetite, pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Bone pain
- Change in nail shape, thickness, or color
- Dry skin
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Pain, redness, or swelling with sores inside the mouth or throat
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, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put in the trash, empty the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.
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 Osimertinib
- Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
- If you should experience nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small frequent meals. Sucking on lozenges and chewing gum may also help.
- Avoid sun exposure. When you go outside wear clothes that protect your skin, including your head, face, hands, arms, and legs. Use lip balm and wear SPF 30 (or higher) sun block.
- 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.
- Osimertinib can cause visual changes, dizziness and tiredness. If you have any of these symptoms, use caution when driving a car, using machinery, or anything that requires you to be alert and make sure your provider is aware.
- 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 100.4° F (38° or higher, chills)
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
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:
- Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
- Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication)
- Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
- Unable to eat or drink for 24 hours or have signs of dehydration: tiredness, thirst, dry mouth, dark and decreased amount of urine, or dizziness
- Any sudden change in eyesight (blurred or distorted vision, eye irritation, increased tears)
- Sudden onset of shortness of breath, accompanied by cough and/or fever
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
- Skin or whites of your eyes turn yellow
- Urine turns dark or brown (tea color)
- Decreased appetite
- Stomach pain
- Unusual bleeding or bruise more easily than normal
- Red or black stools that look like tar
- Blood in urine
- Irregular heartbeat
- Swelling of your ankles or feet
- Any skin change, irritation, itching or rash
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.