Class: Biological Therapy
Generic Name: brigatinib (bri-GA-ti-nib)
Trade Name: Alunbrig™
For which conditions is this drug approved? Brigatinib is used for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a certain type of abnormal anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene which has spread to other parts of the body after taking the medicine crizotinib where it did not work or was not well tolerated.
What is the mechanism of action? Brigatinib is a kinase inhibitor. This medication works by targeting and blocking receptors (kinases) found on the cancer cells, which in turn blocks tumor growth. This medication acts specifically on tumors that have an abnormality in a gene called ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase).
How is brigatinib typically given? Brigatinib is taken orally.
How are patients monitored? Patients will usually have scheduled meetings with their healthcare provider while they are being treated with brigatinib. Typically, blood will be drawn to check levels of blood cells and blood sugar. Patients may be put on a blood sugar medicine. Blood tests will also monitor functions of some organ systems, such as the pancreas, and levels of creatine phosphokinase (CPK). Patients will also have regular monitoring of heart rate and blood pressure.
What are the most common side effects of treatment with brigatinib?
What are some of the less common but potentially serious side effects of brigatinib?
- Lung problems
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
- Vision problems
- Muscle pain (myalgia)
- Inflammation or the pancreas (pancreatitis)
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed here. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.
Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should check with their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.
Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?
- Patients should avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice.
What should you tell your healthcare provider before starting treatment with Brigatinib?
Tell your healthcare provider if you:
- Have lung or breathing problems.
- Have high blood pressure.
- Have a slow heart beat.
- Have vision problems.
- Have or have had pancreatitis.
- Have diabetes mellitus or glucose intolerance.
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
- Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Tell your health care provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Brigatinib and other medicines may affect each other causing side effects. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your health care provider or pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
When should patients notify their physician?
Contact your healthcare professional immediately in case of any of the following:
- You have symptoms of lung problems. These include: trouble breathing, shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, or fever.
- You have symptoms of hypertension. These include: headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, chest pain, or shortness of breath
- You have symptoms of bradycardia. These include: feeling dizzy, lightheaded or faint.
- You have symptoms of vision problems. These include: any changes in vision including double vision, seeing flashes of light, blurry vision, light hurting eyes, new or increased floaters.
- You have symptoms of myalgia. These include: unexplained muscle pain or muscle pain that does not go away, tenderness, or weakness.
- You have symptoms of pancreatitis. These include: upper abdominal pain that may spread to the back and get worse with eating, weight loss, or nausea.
- You have symptoms of hyperglycemia. These include: needing to urinate more than usual, or feeling very thirsty, very hungry, sick to your stomach, weak, tired or confused.
- You become pregnant.
What is a package insert?
A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug for healthcare providers and consumers. A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the specific drug. By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.
Last updated on 05/17.
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