General Information

Nilotinib is used for the treatment of a certain type of blood cancer called chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Chronic myelogenous leukemia is an uncommon type of cancer of the bone marrow. CML causes an increasing number of white blood cells in the blood. It typically affects older adults and rarely occurs in children. This medication slows or stops the growth of cancer cells.

How does Nilotinib work?

Nilotinib works by interfering with the pathways that signal certain types of cancer cells to grow. It may also work by targeting this abnormal protein produced by the abnormal Philadelphia chromosome. Nilotinib blocks the action of this protein. In which it stops the cancerous cells from multiplying. The cancerous cells then die.

Why use Nilotinib?

Nilotinib is a type of targeted drug called a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Tyrosine kinases are a protein that acts as chemical messengers. This can stimulate cancer cells to grow. Nilotinib comes as a capsule for oral use. Each capsule is available in the strengths of 50 mg, 150 mg, and 200 mg. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication.

How to use Nilotinib?

The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to the treatment. This is to be taken exactly as it is prescribed. Do not take more or less or more often that is it given by your doctor.

Nilotinib is to be taken by mouth with a full glass of water. This medication is usually given twice a day about 12 hours apart. Swallow the capsule as a whole. Do not break, open, or chew it. Do not eat any food for at least 2 hours before or for an hour after taking your dose. Drink plenty of fluids during treatment with this medication or as directed by your doctor.

What are the side effects of Nilotinib?

  • Skin rash or itching
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Back pain
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Constipation
  • Temporary hair loss
  • Cold symptoms (stuffy nose, sneezing, or sore throat)

Warnings and Precautions

  • Do not share this drug or any of your any other drugs with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
  • Inform your doctor if you are allergic to it. Tell also if you have current medications.
  • If you have ever had heart disease, liver disease, or blood circulation disease let your doctor know.
  • Do not have any vaccinations or immunizations without the consent of your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve.