Bosutinib

Other Names: Bosulif®

About This Drug:

Bosutinib is used to treat cancer. It is given orally (by mouth). 

Possible Side Effects

  • Nausea and throwing up (vomiting)
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea)
  • Pain in your abdomen
  • Bone marrow Depression. This is a decrease in the number of red blood cells and platelets. This makes you feel tired and weak (fatigue), and raises your risk of bleeding. 
  • Tiredness
  • Cough
  • Headache 
  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Changes in your liver function, which can very rarely cause liver failure. 

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 20% or greater of patients treated with bosutinib. Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Severe bone marrow depression
  • Changes in your kidney function
  • Swelling of your legs, ankles, and/or feet. Fluid can also accumulate around your heart or in your lungs. 

How to Take Your Medication

  • Swallow the medicine whole with food.  Do not chew, break or crush it. Do not touch a broken or crushed tablet.
  • If you take antacids, take this drug at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take the antacid.
  • Missed dose: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you think about it.  If you missed your dose by more than 12 hours, then skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time.   Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Handling: Wash your hands after handling your medicine, your caretakers should not handle your medicine with bare hands and should wear latex gloves.
  • This drug may be present in the saliva, tears, sweat, urine, stool, vomit, semen, and vaginal secretions. Talk to your doctor and/or your nurse about the necessary precautions to take during this time.
  • Storage: Store this medicine in the original container at room temperature. Discuss with your nurse or your doctor how to dispose of unused medicine.

Treating Side Effects

  • Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended).
  • If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • If you have diarrhea, eat low-fiber foods that are high in protein and calories and avoid foods that can irritate your digestive tracts or lead to cramping.
  • Ask your nurse or doctor about medicine that can lessen or stop your diarrhea.
  • To help with nausea and vomiting, eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals a day. Choose foods and drinks that are at room temperature. Ask your nurse or doctor about other helpful tips and medicine that is available to help or stop lessen these symptoms.
  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day.
  • Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • To decrease your risk of infection, wash your hands regularly.
  • Avoid close contact with people who have a cold, the flu, or other infections.
  • Take your temperature as your doctor or nurse tells you, and whenever you feel like you may have a fever.
  • To decrease your risk of bleeding, use a soft toothbrush. Check with your nurse before using dental floss.
  • Be very careful when using knives or tools.
  • Use an electric shaver instead of a razor.
  • If you get a rash do not put anything on it unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry. Ask your doctor for medicine if your rash bothers you.
  • Keeping your pain under control is important to your well-being. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing pain. 

Food and Drug Interactions

  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.  Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may raise the levels of bosutinib in your body. This could make side effects worse.
  • Avoid the use of St. John’s Wort while taking bosutinib as this may lower the levels of the drug in your body, which can make it less effective.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist about all other prescription medicines and dietary supplements you are taking before starting this medicine as there are known drug interactions with bosutinib. Also, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or dietary supplement to make sure that there are no interactions.
  • Drugs that treat heartburn and stomach upset such Maalox®, Mylanta®, Protonix®, Nexium®, Prilosec®, Pepcid®, Tagamet®, and Zantac® may lower levels of bosutinib in your body and make it less effective. Call your doctor to find out what drug you may take with bosutinib to help with heartburn or stomach upset.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Chest pain, especially when you lean forward or take deep breaths
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Cough
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Abdominal pain that does not go away
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a way
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) 4 times a day or loose bowel movements with lack of strength or a feeling of being dizzy
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking and/or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • Headache that does not go away
  • Swelling of legs, ankles, or feet
  • Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
  • New rash and/or itching
  • Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Signs of possible liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very tired and weak, unusual itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • If you think you may be pregnant

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Women of child bearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment and for at least 30 days after treatment. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant.
  • Breastfeeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breast feeding baby.
  • Fertility warning: Human fertility studies have not been done with this drug. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children.  Ask for information on sperm or egg banking.

Revised November 2017

This information is intended to provide helpful health information to the general public and is not to be used in place of any medical, health, psychological, or any other kind of personal professional services.  The information herein does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the medicines mentioned, nor is the information intended as medical advice for individual problems or for making an evaluation as to the risks and benefits of taking a particular medication.  The dose, method of administration and contraindications for any administered medication should be confirmed before use.  UPMC specifically disclaims all responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any medication mentioned herein.