What is the most important information I should know about rucaparib?
Rucaparib can cause leukemia or serious bone marrow problems. You may get an infection or bleed more easily. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, blood in your urine or stools, shortness of breath, or signs of infection (fever, feeling weak or tired, weight loss).
What is rucaparib?
Rucaparib is used to treat ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, or primary peritoneal cancer (cancer of the membrane lining the organs inside your abdomen). Rucaparib is sometimes used for these conditions only if your cancer has a specific genetic marker (an abnormal "BRCA" gene). Your doctor will test you for this gene.
Rucaparib is also used to treat prostate cancer with an abnormal BRCA gene. Rucaparib is given for this condition when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and surgery or other cancer treatments did not work or have stopped working.
Rucaparib was approved for prostate cancer by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on an "accelerated" basis. In clinical studies, some people responded to this medicine, but further studies are needed.
Rucaparib may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking rucaparib?
Using rucaparib may increase your risk of developing serious bone marrow problems or other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.
Rucaparib can harm an unborn baby if the mother or the father is using this medicine.
- If you are a woman, you may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment. Do not use rucaparib if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 6 months after your last dose.
- If you are a man, use effective birth control if your sex partner is able to get pregnant. Keep using birth control for at least 3 months after your last dose.
- Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using rucaparib.
You should not breastfeed while using this medicine, and for at least 2 weeks after your last dose.
How should I take rucaparib?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Rucaparib is usually taken once every 12 hours, with or without food.
If you take rucaparib for prostate cancer, you may also be treated with another medicine called a gonadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH. GnRH helps prevent the testicles from producing testosterone.
If you vomit shortly after taking rucaparib, do not take another dose. Wait until your next scheduled dose to take the medicine again, but do not take 2 doses at the same time.
Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the regular time. Do not use two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking rucaparib?
Men should not donate sperm while taking rucaparib and for at least 3 months after the last dose.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Rucaparib can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
What are the possible side effects of rucaparib?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
- blood in your urine;
- low white blood cell counts --fever, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing; or
- low red blood cells (anemia) --pale skin, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet.
Your cancer treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.
Common side effects may include:
- low blood cell counts;
- shortness of breath;
- cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat;
- stomach pain, bloating, loss of appetite;
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;
- mouth sores, changes in your sense of taste;
- feeling weak or tired;
- rash; or
- abnormal liver function tests.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect rucaparib?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Other drugs may affect rucaparib, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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