Side effects, cost, dosage, uses, how it works, etc.
Tafinlar can cause mild or severe side effects. The following lists contain some of the main side effects that can occur when taking Tafinlar. These lists do not include all possible side effects.
For more information about the possible side effects of Tafinlar, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you advice on how to deal with side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.
Keep in mind that possible side effects may vary depending on whether you are taking Tafinlar in combination with trametinib (Mekinist).
To note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks the side effects of drugs it has approved. If you want to notify the FDA about a side effect you have had with Tafinlar, you can do so via MedWatch.
Mild side effects
Mild side effects* of Tafinlar include:
Most of these side effects may disappear within a few days to a few weeks. If they get worse or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
*This is a partial list of mild Tafinlar side effects. For more information about other mild side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist, or read the Tafinlar package leaflet. prescribing information.
† For more information on this side effect, see “Details of side effects” below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Tafinlar are not common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you experience any serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms are life-threatening or you think you have a medical emergency.
Serious side effects and their symptoms may include:
- Heart problems such as cardiomyopathy (weakened heart muscle) or heart failure (a condition in which your heart does not pump blood efficiently). Symptoms can include:
- swelling in the lower legs due to fluid buildup
- feeling as if your heart is pounding or skipping beats
- Eye problems such as uveitis (swelling in the middle of the eye). Symptoms may include:
- Severe febrile reaction (a side effect that can occur with fever). Symptoms can include:
- chills or chills (intense chills)
- Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar), which can lead to diabetes. Symptoms of high blood sugar can include:
- increased thirst or hunger
- urinating more frequently than usual
- New cancers.*
- Serious skin reaction.*
- Allergic reaction.*
* For more information on this side effect, see ‘Details of side effects’ below.
Details of side effects
Here are some details about some side effects that this drug can cause. To find out how often side effects occurred in clinical trials, see the prescribing information for Tafinlar.
Using Tafinlar to treat cancer may increase your risk of new types of cancer. This can happen whether you take Tafinlar alone or in combination with trametinib to treat your condition.
Overall, new cancers were not a common side effect in people in the Tafinlar group. clinical tests. Among people who developed new cancers, skin cancers were more common than other types of cancer. One of the most common skin cancers seen was cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (also called squamous cell carcinoma). This type of cancer starts in the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of your skin.
Watch for symptoms of skin cancer while taking Tafinlar, such as:
- new sores, bumps, or warts (small growths) on your skin
- moles that change color or size
You may be wondering how a cancer treatment like Tafinlar could increase the risk of new cancers. This is likely because the drug may affect different signals and processes involved in cell growth. When these processes are disrupted, other changes can occur, such as new genetic mutations (abnormal changes). As a result, some cells may grow faster than usual, which can lead to cancer.
Tafinlar is used to treat certain BRAF-positive cancers. This means that the cancer contains abnormal BRAF proteins due to specific genetic mutations (changes). Tafinlar works by blocking the action of these abnormal BRAF proteins to help prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading.
In rare cases, treatment with Tafinlar may lead to new tumors because the medicine may increase the growth of cells containing wild-type BRAF proteins. These are cells that lack certain mutations in the BRAF uncomfortable. Due to the risk of new tumours, Tafinlar is not used to treat wild-type BRAF tumours.
what you can do
Before and during Tafinlar treatment, you will consult a dermatologist. They will check for new skin cancers. You will probably see the dermatologist up to 6 months after your last dose.
While taking Tafinlar, avoid tanning beds and direct sunlight. If you must be in the sun, be sure to protect your skin by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your skin or any other new or unusual symptoms.
If you develop a new cancer that starts in your skin, your doctor will decide whether you should continue treatment with Tafinlar. They may tell you to keep taking Tafinlar to prevent your ‘old’ cancer from growing and spreading. In some cases, your doctor may recommend other treatments for the new cancer. For example, they may perform surgery to remove it.
If you develop a new cancer that is not related to the skin, your doctor may test you for new genetic mutations. If they confirm that your new cancer has a mutation in a gene called RASthey will probably make you stop taking Tafinlar.
Tafinlar can cause bleeding problems. In some cases, the bleeding can be severe and life threatening. In clinical tests, this side effect only occurred when Tafinlar was taken in combination with trametinib. However, this side effect can still occur when Tafinlar is taken alone.
At Tafinlar clinical tests, some people have had severe bleeding in their digestive tract. Symptoms of this bleeding can include:
Also in these trials, some people who took Tafinlar experienced bleeding in the brain. In very rare cases, a cerebral hemorrhage has led to death.
what you can do
Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of bleeding problems. Besides the digestive bleeding symptoms listed above, other signs of a bleeding problem may include:
- frequent nose bleeds
- heavy or unusual vaginal bleeding
- excessive bruising
- bleeding gums
- cough up blood
If you have bleeding problems while taking Tafinlar, your doctor may interrupt your treatment with the medicine until the problem goes away. If you have severe bleeding, they will probably stop your treatment with Tafinlar. Your doctor may then prescribe a different medicine to treat your condition.
Skin reactions may occur with Tafinlar. These skin reactions can be mild or severe. Changes to your skin may occur whether you take Tafinlar alone or in combination with trametinib to treat your condition.
The following skin reactions have been seen more frequently in people taking Tafinlar alone clinical tests:
- Thickening or hardening of the outer layer of the skin.
- Warts (small growths whose symptoms may vary depending on the type).
- Hand-foot syndrome, which usually affects the palms and soles of the feet. The syndrome can cause pain, thickening, scaling, and redness or deepening of skin color.
These side effects are usually mild. In rare cases, they can be serious.
Other skin reactions, such as rash and dry skin, have occurred in people who took Tafinlar in combination with trametinib in clinical tests.
Very serious and life-threatening skin reactions have also been reported with Tafinlar. These include Stevens-Johnson syndrome and DRESS syndrome. (DRESS stands for “Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms”.) However, these reactions have not been seen in clinical trials. They were reported in people who took Tafinlar after the FDA approved the drug. It is unclear whether Tafinlar caused the reactions.
what you can do
If you have a skin reaction while taking Tafinlar, your doctor may interrupt your treatment until the reaction goes away. Then they can start Tafinlar again at a lower dose.
Talk to your doctor right away if you have symptoms of a serious skin reaction, such as blistering or peeling skin. Your doctor will probably ask you to stop treatment with Tafinlar. They may prescribe a different medicine to treat the cancer instead.
Also remember that changes in your skin can be symptoms of skin cancer. Tafinlar may increase the risk of new cancers, including skin cancer. For more information, see ‘New cancers’ above.
As with most medicines, some people may have an allergic reaction after taking Tafinlar. In clinical testssome people have had allergic reactions involving skin blisters.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction may include:
A more serious allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction may include:
- swelling under the skin, usually in the eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of the tongue, mouth or throat
- difficulty breathing
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Tafinlar, as the reaction could become serious. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms are life-threatening or you think you have a medical emergency.