Dasatinib (oral)

Dasatinib is also known by the brand name Sprycel and is used to treat and slow the progress of leukemia.

Overview

Dasatinib or Sprycel is used to treat cancer, specifically lymphoblastic leukemia and chronic myeloid leukemia. It is a treatment that is used when other available options do not work. Sprycel works by lowering your blood cell count, which helps your body more effectively fight and clot.

This medication does carry a high interaction and side effect risk and should be thoroughly discussed with your doctor before you begin treatment. In some cases, patients can develop life-threatening, but rare side effects. It is important to be closely monitored when taking this drug to help treat any underlying or developing medical conditions. Before you begin treatment with Sprycel, you should tell your doctor if you have liver, heart or lung disease. In addition, if you have a weakened immune system, Sprycel may not be an option for treatment. It is also possible you may not be able to take this medication if you have low potassium or magnesium in your blood.

If you are pregnant or nursing, you should not take this drug because it poses a health risk to unborn and nursing babies. It is also important to discuss the impact this medication has on your fertility before you begin your course of treatment. If you begin to notice that your are not tolerating this medication well, you may ask about alternative treatment options. You may even be able to request a dose adjustment to help alleviate some of the side effects and interactions associated with the use of Sprycel.

Do not store this medication near heat or light and keep it out of areas with excess humidity such as a bathroom. Keep this drug out of the reach of pets, children, and others. If you plan to travel, you should keep your medication in your prescription bottle. If you medication expires you should discuss getting a refill with your doctor. Do not store other medications in the same bottle or container as Sprycel.

You will be closely monitored during your treatment to help discover any changes in your medical status such as decreased kidney or liver function. This drug is potent and can cause any liver or kidney disfunction to rapidly deteriorate. Monitor your urine and stools for any unusual coloration or changes while taking this drug. Do not stop taking this drug without the consent of your doctor and do not begin taking any other medications or supplements without their approval. If you begin to experience a variety of side effects, you can discuss adjusting your current dose or change your treatment plan. This drug can be taken without food and should be taken exactly as directed by your doctor. Inform your healthcare provider about any changes in your overall health.

Condition treated

  • Leukemia

Type Of Medicine

  • Cancer treatment

Side Effects

Common:

  • Bloody, black, or tarry stools

Monitor your stools closely for any abnormalities or changes. If you notice blood in your stool, or it has a tarry appearance, you may be developing a serious condition that requires immediate treatment.

  • Body aches and pain

If you start to feel achy when you begin taking Dasatinib, or you have unexplained pain anywhere in your body, you may be having an adverse reaction to this treatment. You should alert your medical care providers and discuss the possibility of trying other treatments.

  • Burning, tingling, or numbness in the hands, arms, feet, and legs

If you experience any numbness or tingling in your extremities, you should tell your healthcare provider because you may be experiencing a dangerous side effect.

  • Chest pain

Chest pain can signal a life-threatening emergency. You should seek treatment immediately if you notice chest pain.

  • Constipation

Constipation is a possible side effect of dasatinib. If you begin to have constipation, you should ask your medical care provider about what treatment options you can have. Make sure you stay hydrated throughout treatment to help prevent constipation.

  • A cough or hoarseness

A cough or issues with your throat such as hoarseness may be an indicator of an underlying issue and should be addressed right away.

  • Coughing up blood

If you begin to cough blood, you should seek emergency medical treatment because it is a sign of a serious problem.

  • Decrease in urine

If you are getting plenty of liquids, but notice a decline in hydration, you should tell your healthcare provider because it could signal an issue with your kidneys.

  • Dizziness

This treatment may cause some degree of dizziness. Report this occurrence immediately if this is a severe side effect or develops suddenly.

  • Ear congestion

Ear congestion is a possible side effect. Ask if there are any treatment options to relieve this mild side effect.

  • Fainting

If you experience fainting, you should seek medical attention.

  • Fast, slow, irregular heartbeat

Any changes in your heartbeat, or if the changes accompany other side effects, should be reported to your doctor.

  • Fever or chills

Fever or chills can signal the beginning of developing medical conditions or may be a sign of intolerance to your treatment.

  • Full or bloated feeling

Some people notice a bloated or full feeling when taking Sprycel.

  • Headache

A mild headache is a possible side effect, but if a headache is pounding or severe, you should seek immediate emergency medical assistance.

  • Loss of voice

A loss of voice may signal an intolerance to the medication or can be a sign of a developing condition.

  • Lower back or side pain

If you have pain in your side or back, you should tell your doctor right away because you may be experiencing a decrease in organ function.

  • Nasal congestion

Nasal congestion can signal a developing illness or a mild side effect.

  • Noisy or rattling breathing

If you notice that you develop noisy breathing, or hear a rattling sound when you breathe, you should seek medical help right away.

  • Painful or difficult urination

You should always report any issues with urination when taking this drug because it is known to cause a decrease in organ function for some patients.

  • Pale skin

Pale skin can signal an issue with your medical status and may be a result of an interaction, organ failure, or illness.

  • Paralysis

Paralysis is a medical emergency that should be addressed by your doctor or emergency medical facility.

  • Pressure in the stomach

If you notice an unusual pressure in your stomach you should seek medical treatment for a possible developing medical emergency.

  • Runny nose

Some patients report a runny nose during treatment. This can also be a developing medical condition or illness. Ask about your options for over the counter medication to help relieve this side effect.

  • Sensation of pins and needles

Some people experience the sensation of pins and needles. This is a mild side effect and should be noted when discussing your treatment progress. If the sensation persists or becomes very painful, you should seek your doctor's medical advise.

  • Severe stomach pain

Severe stomach pain should be treated as an emergency medical event. Severe stomach pain can signal organ failure or an other developing problem.

  • Sneezing

Some people who take Sprycel may notice that they begin to sneeze. This is a mild side effect that may be treated with medication.

  • Sore throat

You may experience a sore throat from either treatment with Sprycel or from a developing medical condition.

  • Stabbing pain

Any serious stabbing pain should be treated as an emergency.

  • Swelling of the abdominal or stomach

Any swelling in the abdomen or stomach can signal a serious developing medical condition.

  • Swelling of face, fingers, hands, feet, or lower legs

If you notice swelling of your extremities or your face, you should seek medical assistance.

  • Tightness in the chest

Tightness in the chest can be a sign of a life-threatening medical emergency.

  • Troubled breathing

If you notice that you are having trouble breathing, you should seek emergency medical assistance for a possible allergic reaction.

  • Ulcers, sores, white spots in the mouth

If you develop sores or spots in or around the mouth, you may be allergic to this drug or have an intolerance to the treatment.

  • Unsteadiness or awkwardness

If you find yourself losing your coordination or balance you should tell your healthcare provider and ask for advice and possibly a dose adjustment.

  • Bleeding or bruising

This treatment can cause some patients to experience unusual bleeding or bruising. Keep your doctor informed about this side effect.

  • Tiredness or weakness

If you experience unusual tiredness or weakness you should monitor your condition and report any sudden changes.

  • Vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

If you vomit blood or dark coffee ground-like material, you should seek emergency medical attention.

  • Weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet

Any sudden weakness in your extremities can be a sign of a serious medical condition that requires immediate attention.

  • Weight gain

Weight gain is a possible mild side effect. Your doctor can help you monitor your weight.

Rare:

  • Bloating

In some rare instances, this drug may cause bloating in patients.

  • Blue lips and fingernails

Blue lips or blue fingernails can signal a life-threatening condition and should be treated with urgency.

  • Chest discomfort

Any chest discomfort should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately because it could be a sign of a developing medical emergency.

Mild side effects:

  • Abdominal and stomach pain

If you develop some abdominal pain or stomach pain, you should report this occurrence especially if the pain is severe. This may be a side effect or a developing medical condition.

  • Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums is a common occurrence and may continue throughout the treatment process.

  • Cracked lips

Many people report cracked lips while taking this drug. Stay hydrated to help reduce this occurrence and use a moisturizing lip balm to help prevent further cracking.

  • Diarrhea

You may develop diarrhea when taking this drug. If the condition persists you should ask your medical provider about your relief options.

  • Difficulty moving

If you have difficulty moving due to muscular-skeletal issues, you should tell your doctor and ask about treatment options to relieve your side effects.

  • Difficulty swallowing

Difficulty swallowing may be a moderate side effect, but can also signal an allergic reaction. Report this issue immediately in case you are having a life-threatening medical emergency.

  • Increased menstrual flow

Some women who undergo treatment with Sprycel may notice a noticeable increase in their menstrual flow.

  • Itching skin or rash

If you develop itchy skin, especially if accompanied by a rash, you should seek medical attention because you may be having an adverse reaction to the drug.

  • Loss of strength

Some patients who are undergoing treatment with Sprycel report a lack or loss of strength. This issue may go away on its own but should be reported.

  • Lack of appetite

It is a common occurrence for people who are taking this drug to lose their appetite. Ask for options from your healthcare provider.

  • Muscle aching or cramping

Some people who take Sprycel develop cramping and muscle aches. Tell your doctor so they can monitor your progress and report any severe episodes immediately.

  • Muscle or bone pain

This drug has been known to commonly cause muscle and bone pain. You may be able to take an over the counter pain relief product or obtain a prescription from your doctor to help reduce this side effect.

  • Muscle stiffness

Initially, you may notice some muscle stiffness when taking this drug. You should ask about your medication options if this condition persists.

  • Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are a common, mild side effect. Ask your doctor or medical team about ways you can help reduce the frequency of nosebleeds during your treatment with Sprycel.

  • Pain

If you begin to feel pain in general, you should tell your healthcare provider so they can monitor your overall health and catch any possible developing conditions.

  • Joint pain

Joint pain is a common side effect and may go away on its own or with an approved pain reliever.

  • Prolonged bleeding from cuts

Initially, you may notice you have trouble getting cuts to stop bleeding. This may pass on its own, but should still be reported.

  • Red or brown urine

This drug is known to change the color of your urine. You should tell your doctor or healthcare provider about any changes in your urine so the condition can be monitored closely.

  • Swollen joints

If you notice swollen joints, you should ask your doctor what treatment options are available that do not pose an interaction risk.

  • Vomiting

Vomiting is a common side effect of the treatment of Sprycel. Alert your healthcare provider if this condition continues over a prolonged period of time or your condition worsens.

  • Loss of weight

Although a loss of weight is a mild side effect and may go away on its own, you should still monitor this issue and report any long-term lack of appetite so you can explore your options.

Dosage

The recommended dosage of Sprycel is 100 mg orally once per day to treat chronic phase CML and up to 140 mg orally per day for myeloid blast phase CML. This medication is taken either in the morning or the evening and is not required to be taken with a meal. The length of time for treatment is determined either by the progression of the disease or by the intolerance of the patient. Your dose may be altered through the course of treatment to alleviate side effects or to increase the effectiveness of your treatment with Sprycel.

Interactions

There are 851 total known drug interactions associated with Sprycel. Of those 851 drugs, 261 pose a major interaction risk, 571 pose a moderate risk, and 19 pose a minor drug interaction risk. The most common drugs known to interact with Sprycel include Ambien, lovastatin, omeprazole, asprin, Cymbalta, and Tasigna.

Disease interactions:

  • Cardiovascular disease

Warnings

This drug is known to have a wide variety of side effects and poses several interaction risks. Most patients continue treatment with Sprycel until there is a progression of their disease, or until they can no longer tolerate the treatment. This drug is primarily used as a treatment for leukemia when other treatments have failed to work. Before you begin therapy with Sprycel, you must first discuss in detail your entire medical history. Tell your doctor about all of your allergies to help prevent unpleasant side effects and dangerous interactions. Sprycel can damage your liver and kidneys, so if you have a history of either kidney or liver disease you may not be a good candidate for treatment. If you are able to take this treatment with liver or kidney impairment, you must be monitored and tested frequently to detect any decline in function.

Do not take this drug if you are pregnant or nursing because it can pose a risk of deformity and pose a risk to breastfeeding babies. Do not take any other medications or supplements unless you have permission from your doctor. Do not engage in any risky lifestyle choices while undergoing treatment, such as taking illegal drugs or drinking because this increases the risk of experiencing dangerous side effects and interactions.

Storage

Keep this drug out of the reach of children, and pets. Keep this drug in the original bottle and do not store other medications with it. Keep Sprycel away from heat, light, and humidity. Do not store this medication in humid areas such as your bathroom.

If you plan to travel bring your medication in the original prescription bottle. Do not flush this drug down the toilet. If you must dispose of this drug, you should either use your community take-back program or follow the FDA's guidelines regarding the disposal of prescription drugs. Do not keep this medication past the expiration date. If it does expire you should discuss getting a new prescription from your healthcare provider.

Summary

Dasatinib is a drug used to treat Leukemia. It is known by the brand name Sprycel and is known to pose certain risks to individuals who have preexisting conditions and certain medical factors. It is used in most cases when other treatments are not effective.

Patients who undergo treatment with Sprycel may experience a variety of side effects and possible drug and disease interactions. Always discuss your medical history thoroughly and do not take any unprescribed medication or supplements when you are being treated with Sprycel. If you have liver or kidney disease, you should discuss this thoroughly with your doctor because you may not be a good candidate for treatment with Sprycel. If you are able to take this treatment, you will need frequent testing to monitor your organ function and detect any decreases.

Do not take other medications or supplements while undergoing treatment unless you have the permission of your doctor. There is a wide variety of drug interactions and taking unauthorized prescriptions and supplements may increase the risk of unpleasant side effects and interactions. Take this drug exactly as directed and if you miss a dose you should take it as soon as your remember. If it is time for your next dose resume your schedule and take only one dose. You may take this drug with or without food.

Resources
Last Reviewed:
March 26, 2018
Last Updated:
April 12, 2018