Dacomitinib (Vizimpro®)

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About This Drug

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

Possible Side Effects

  • Diarrhea (loose bowel movements)
  • Soreness of the mouth and throat. You may have red areas, white patches, or sores in your mouth that hurt.
  • Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
  • Weight loss
  • Hair loss. Hair loss is often temporary, although with certain medicine, hair loss can sometimes be permanent. Hair loss may happen suddenly or gradually. If you lose hair, you may lose it from your head, face, armpits, pubic area, chest, and/or legs. You may also notice your hair getting thin.
  • Inflammation/infection of the tissue around your nails
  • Dry skin and itching
  • Rash
  • Cough

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

Warnings and Precautions

  • Interstitial lung disease - scarring of the lungs that causes stiffness in the lungs and difficulty breathing
  • Severe diarrhea which can be life-threatening
  • Severe allergic skin reaction. You may develop blisters on your skin that are filled with fluid or a severe red rash all over your body that may be painful.

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

  • Take the medicine with or without food at the same time each day.
  • Medications that treat heartburn and stomach upset affect the way dacomitinib works. Speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for specific directions if you are taking any medications to treat heartburn or upset stomach.
  • 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 have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack of 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. 
  • Mouth care is very important. Your mouth care should consist of routine, gentle cleaning of your teeth or dentures and rinsing your mouth with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water or 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water. This should be done at least after each meal and at bedtime.
  • If you have mouth sores, avoid mouthwash that has alcohol. Also avoid alcohol and smoking because they can bother your mouth and throat.
  • To help with decreased appetite, eat small, frequent meals, and foods that are high in calories and protein, such as meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, tofu, eggs, nuts, milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, pudding, and nutritional supplements.
  • Consider using sauces and spices to increase taste. Daily exercise, with your doctor’s approval, may increase your appetite.
  • Eat high caloric food such as pudding, ice cream, yogurt and milkshakes.
  • To help avoid weight loss, consider drinking fluids that contribute calories (whole milk, juice, soft drinks, sweetened beverages, milkshakes, and nutritional supplements) instead of water.
  • To help with hair loss, wash with a mild shampoo and avoid washing your hair every day.
  • Avoid rubbing your scalp, pat your hair or scalp dry.
  • Avoid coloring your hair.
  • Limit your use of hair spray, electric curlers, blow dryers, and curling irons.
  • If you are interested in getting a wig, talk to your nurse. You can also call the American Cancer Society at 800-ACS-2345 to find out information about the “Look Good, Feel Better” program close to where you live. It is a free program where women getting chemotherapy can learn about wigs, turbans and scarves as well as makeup techniques and skin and nail care.
  • 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.
  • Moisturize your skin several times day
  • Avoid sun exposure and apply sunscreen routinely when outdoors

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of dacomitinib with food.
  • Medications that treat heartburn and stomach upset affect the way dacomitinib works. Speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for specific directions if you are taking any medications to treat heartburn or upset stomach.
  • 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 dacomitinib. 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.

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
  • Pain in your chest
  • Dry cough or coughing yellow, green, or bloody mucus
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Pain in your mouth or throat that makes it hard to eat or drink
  • Diarrhea, 4 times a day or diarrhea with lack of strength or a feeling of being dizzy
  • Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • New rash and/or itching
  • Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Signs of inflammation/infection (redness, swelling, pain) of the tissue around your nails.
  • If you think you may be pregnant

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Women of childbearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment and for at least 17 days after treatment. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant.
  • Breastfeeding warning: Women should not breastfeed during treatment and for 17 days after treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breastfeeding 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.

New 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.