Trametinib (Mekinist®)

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About This Drug

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

Possible Side Effects

  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea and vomiting (throwing up)
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Cough and trouble breathing
  • Rash
  • Dry skin
  • Swelling of your legs, arms and/or face
  • High blood pressure
  • Pain in your bones, joints and/or muscles
  • Abnormal bleeding

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 20% or greater of patients treated with trametinib. Not all possible side effects are included above. You may experience different side effects if you take trametinib alone versus in combination with dabrafenib.

Warnings and Precautions

  • This drug may raise your risk of getting a second cancer and the development of skin lesions that may or may not be cancer.
  • Serious bleeding events. Symptoms may be coughing up blood, throwing up blood (may look like coffee grounds), red or black tarry bowel movements, abnormally heavy menstrual flow, nosebleeds or any other unusual bleeding.
  • Blurred vision or other changes in eyesight, which can rarely cause blindness.
  • Changes in the tissue of the heart. Some changes may happen that can cause your heart to have less ability to pump blood.
  • Colitis, which is swelling (inflammation) in the colon - symptoms are loose bowel movements (diarrhea) stomach cramping, and sometimes blood in the bowel movements. Perforation of stomach, intestine, esophagus can rarely occur.
  • Inflammation (swelling) of the lungs. You may have a dry cough or trouble breathing.
  • 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.
  • High blood pressure
  • Changes in your heart function such as congestive heart failure. You may be short of breath. Your arms, hands, legs and feet may swell.
  • Serious fever reactions. This may be accompanied by dehydration (lack of water in the body from losing too much fluid), low blood pressure and changes in your kidney function which can cause kidney failure.
  • Blood clots and events such as heart attack. A blood clot in your leg may cause your leg to swell, appear red and warm, and/or cause pain. A blood clot in your lungs may cause trouble breathing, pain when breathing, and/or chest pain.
  • Blood sugar levels may change. If you have diabetes, changes may need to be made to your diabetes medication.

Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team. Your side effects may be different if you are taking trametinib alone versus in combination with dabrafenib.

How to Take Your Medication

  • Take this drug by mouth without food, at least 1 hour before you eat or 2 hours after you eat.
  • Missed dose: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you think about it, if your next dose is due in less than 12 hours, then skip the missed dose. Do not take 2 doses at the same time, instead, continue with your regular dosing schedule and contact your physician.
  • 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 refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Store in original container, and do not remove desiccant. Protect from moisture and light. 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.
  • To help with decreased appetite, eat high caloric food such as pudding, ice cream, yogurt and milkshakes.
  • If you get 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.
  • If you have diabetes, keep good control of your blood sugar level. Tell your nurse or your doctor if your glucose levels are higher or lower than normal.
  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day. Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • There are no known interactions of trametinib with food, however this medication should be taken on an empty stomach.
  • There are no known interactions of trametinib with other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the prescription and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. 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.
  • The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

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
  • Blurred vision or other changes in eyesight
  • Headache that does not go away
  • Dry cough
  • Feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way (palpitations)
  • Chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack. Most heart attacks involve pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. The pain may go away and come back. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Sometimes pain is felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. If any of these symptoms last 2 minutes, call 911.
  • Your leg or arm is swollen, red, warm and/or painful
  • Wheezing and/or trouble breathing
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) 4 times a day or loose bowel movements with lack of strength or a feeling of being dizzy
  • Severe abdominal pain that does not go away
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking or relieved by prescribed medicine
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • Pain in your abdomen that does not go away
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Blood in your urine, vomit (bright red or coffee-ground) and/or stools (bright red, or black/tarry)
  • Swelling of legs, arms, and/or face
  • Decreased urine
  • Flu-like symptoms: fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and fatigue (low energy, feeling weak)
  • A new rash or a rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • New skin lesions
  • Abnormal blood sugar
  • Pain that does not go away or is not relieved by prescribed medicine
  • If you think you may be pregnant 

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug can 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 4 months after treatment. Effective non-hormonal methods of birth control should be used if taking trametinib in combination with dabrafenib. Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) may not be effective with dabrafenib. 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 not breast feed during treatment or for 4 months after treatment because this drug may enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breast feeding baby.
  • Fertility warning: In women, 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 egg banking.

Revised June 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.