About This Drug
Avapritinib is used to treat cancer. It is given orally (by mouth).
Possible Side Effects
- Teary eyes
- Nausea and vomiting (throwing up)
- Diarrhea (loose bowel movements)
- Constipation (not able to move bowels)
- Pain in your abdomen
- Tiredness and weakness
- Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet
- Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
- Feeling dizzy
- Mental status changes – Memory loss, dizziness, trouble sleeping, changes in mood or thinking, difficulty speaking, or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
- Changes in hair color
Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 20% or greater of patients treated with avapritinib. Not all possible side effects are included above.
Warnings and Precautions
- Bleeding in your brain. You could have a severe headache, vision problems, severe sleepiness, or weakness on one side of your body. If you start to have any of these symptoms let your doctor know right away.
- Changes in your central nervous system can happen. The central nervous system is made up of your brain and spinal cord. You could feel extreme tiredness, agitation, confusion, have hallucinations (see or hear things that are not there), trouble understanding or speaking, dizziness, eyesight changes, trouble sleeping, changes in mood, numbness or lack of strength in your arms, legs, face or body, seizures or coma. If you start to have any of these systems let your doctor know right away.
Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team.
- Do not drive or operate heavy machinery, if you have confusion or trouble thinking while taking avapritinib.
How to Take Your Medication
- Take avapritinib on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before and at least 2 hours after a meal.
- Missed dose: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you think about it ONLY if your next dose is due in more than 8 hours. If your next dose is due in LESS than 8 hours, then skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not replace a vomited dose. If you vomit a dose or miss a dose, contact your doctor.
- 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 of 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 stop or lessen these symptoms.
- 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.
- If you are not able to move your bowels, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.
- If you are dizzy, get up slowly after sitting or lying.
- Ask your nurse or doctor about medicine that can lessen or stop your diarrhea or constipation.
- Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day.
- Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
- To help with decreased appetite, eat small, frequent meals. Eat foods 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.
- Keeping your pain under control is important to your wellbeing. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing pain.
- 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.
Food and Drug Interactions
- This medication should be taken on an empty stomach.
- This drug may interact with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Talk to your doctor as this could make side effects worse.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist about all other prescription medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) you are taking before starting this medicine as there are known drug interactions with avapritinib. 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.
- Avoid the use of St. John’s Wort while taking avapritinib as this may lower the levels of the drug in your body, which can make it less effective.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:
- Tiredness that interferes with your daily activities
- Agitation or confusion
- Trouble understanding or speaking
- Memory loss, dizziness, trouble sleeping, changes in mood, difficulty speaking, or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
- Blurry vision or changes in your eyesight
- Teary eyes
- Numbness or lack of strength to your arms, legs, face or body
- Headache that does not go away
- Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking and/or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
- Throwing up more than 3 times a day
- Diarrhea, 4 times in one day or diarrhea with lack of strength or a feeling of being dizzy
- Pain in your abdomen that does not go away
- No bowel movement in 3 days or when you feel uncomfortable
- Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
- Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week
- Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet
- New rash and/or itching
- Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
- If you think you may be pregnant or may have impregnated your partner
- 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 6 weeks after treatment. Men with female partners of childbearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment and for 6 weeks after your cancer treatment. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant or may have impregnated your partner.
- Breastfeeding warning: Women should not breastfeed during treatment and for at least 2 weeks after treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breastfeeding baby.
- Fertility warning: In men and women both, 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 or egg banking.
New January 2020
This patient information was developed by Via Oncology, LLC © 2020. 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.