Brigatinib (Alunbrig®)

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About This Drug

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

Possible Side Effects

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea (loose bowel movements)
  • Tiredness
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Changes in your liver function

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 25% or greater of patients treated with brigatinib. Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Inflammation (swelling) of the lungs or scarring of the lungs that causes stiffness in the lungs which makes breathing difficult
  • High blood pressure
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Blurred vision or other changes in eyesight
  • Increase in creatine phosphokinase, which can sometimes be the result of muscle inflammation or damage. You may have muscle aching and/or cramping.
  • Changes in your pancreas function
  • Blood sugar levels may change

Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team.

How to Take Your Medication

  • Swallow the medicine whole with or without food. Do not chew or crush tablets.
  • Missed dose: If you vomit or miss a dose, take your next dose at the regular time, and contact your physician. Do not take 2 doses at the same time and do not double up on the next dose.
  • 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.
  • Disposal of unused medicine: Do not flush any expired and/or unused medicine down the toilet or drain unless you are specifically instructed to do so on the medication label. Some facilities have take-back programs and/or other options. If you do not have a take-back program in your area, then please 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).
  • 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.
  • Keeping your pain under control is important to your well-being. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing pain.
  • If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar level. Tell your nurse or your doctor if your glucose levels are higher or lower than normal.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • Avoid grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking this medicine as it may raise the levels of brigatinib in your body which could make side effects worse.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist about all other prescription medicines and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) you are taking before starting this medicine as there are known drug interactions with brigatinib. Also, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or dietary supplements to make sure that there are no interactions.
  • Avoid the use of St. John’s Wort while taking brigatinib as this may lower the levels of the drug in your body, which can make it less effective.
  • This drug interacts with hormonal birth control (i.e., birth control pills, skin patches, vaginal rings, injections) and affect how they work. Discuss with your doctor and/or nurse what method of birth control may be right for you during your treatment.

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
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Pain in your chest
  • Dry cough
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • A headache that does not go away
  • Blurry vision or other changes in eyesight
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking, and/or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Diarrhea, 4 times in one day or diarrhea with lack of strength or a feeling of being dizzy
  • Pain in your abdomen that does go away
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Abnormal blood sugar
  • Unusual thirst, passing urine often, headache, sweating, shakiness, irritability
  • 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
  • Unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness
  • If you think you may be pregnant or if you have impregnated your partner

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Women of child bearing potential should use effective non-hormonal methods of birth control during your cancer treatment and for at least 4 months after treatment. Men with female partners of child bearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment and for at least 3 months after your cancer treatment. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant or may have impregnated your partner. Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) may not be effective with this medication.
  • Breastfeeding warning: Women should not breastfeed during treatment and for 1 week after treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breastfeeding baby.
  • Infertility warning: In men, this drug may affect your ability to have children in the future. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm banking.

Revised October 2018

This patient information was developed by Via Oncology, LLC © 2018. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have.

CLIENT acknowledges that the Via Pathways and Via Portal are information management tools only, and that Via Oncology, LLC has not represented the Via Pathways or Via Portal as having the ability to diagnose disease, prescribe treatment, or perform any other tasks that constitute the practice of medicine. The clinical information contained in the Via Pathways and Via Portal are intended as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the knowledge, expertise, skill, and judgment of physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals involved with patient care at CLIENT facilities.