Bosutinib

Other Names: Bosulif®

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About This Drug:

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

Possible Side Effects

  • A decrease in the number of red blood cells, and platelets. This may make you tired and weak (fatigue) and raise your risk of bleeding.
  • Nausea and vomiting (throwing up)
  • Diarrhea (loose bowel movements)
  • Pain in your abdomen
  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet
  • Changes in your liver function
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Rash

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 suppression
  • Changes in your kidney function which can cause kidney failure
  • Severe changes in your liver function which can cause liver failure
  • Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet. Fluid can also accumulate around your heart or around your lungs.

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 food. Do not cut, break or crush it. Do not touch a broken or crushed tablet.
  • If you take an antacid, 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.
  • 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

  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day.
  • Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • To decrease the 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 help decrease the 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 stop or lessen these symptoms.
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • 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

  • Avoid grapefruit or 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 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 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 100.4° F (38° C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Chest pain, especially when you lean forward or take deep breaths
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Coughing yellow, green, or bloody mucus
  • Tiredness that interferes with your daily activities
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Abdominal pain 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 way
  • Diarrhea, 4 times in one day or diarrhea with lack of strength or a feeling of being dizzy
  • 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
  • Decreased urine or very dark urine
  • If you think you may be pregnant 

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may 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 1 month 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. Women should not breastfeed during treatment and for at least 1 month 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.

Revised June 2019

This patient information was developed by Via Oncology, LLC © 2019. 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.