Dasatinib (Sprycel®)

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About This Drug

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

Possible Side Effects

  • Bone marrow suppression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This may raise your risk of infection, make you tired and weak (fatigue), and raise your risk of bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea (loose bowel movements)
  • Abnormal bleeding – 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.
  • Tiredness
  • Fluid retention - swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet, or fluid build-up around your lungs, heart or elsewhere
  • Headache
  • Joint, muscle and bone pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Rash

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 15% or greater of patients treated with dasatinib. Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Severe bone marrow suppression
  • Severe abnormal bleeding which may be life-threatening
  • Severe fluid build-up (retention) events
  • Trouble breathing because of high pressure in the arteries of your lungs.
  • Abnormal heart beat and/or changes in the tissue of the heart. Some changes may happen that can cause your heart to have less ability to pump blood.
  • 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.
  • Tumor lysis syndrome: This drug may act on the cancer cells very quickly. This may affect how your kidneys work. 

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

Important Information

  • This drug contains lactose

How to Take Your Medication

  • You can take the medicine whole with or without food. Do not chew, cut or crush it.
  • If you take antacids, take it at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take dasatinib.
  • 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.
  • Women that are pregnant should not handle crushed or broken tablets.
  • 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.
  • Keeping your pain under control is important to your well-being. 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

  • Avoid grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking this medicine. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may raise the levels of dasatinib in your body. This could make side effects worse.
  • This medicine contains lactose. Let your doctor know if you are lactose intolerant.
  • 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 dasatinib. 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 dasatinib as this may lower the levels of the drug in your body, which can make it less effective
  • Drugs that treat heartburn and stomach upset such Maalox®, Mylanta®, Protonix®, Nexium®, Prilosec®, Pepcid®, Tagamet®, and Zantac® may lower the effect of your cancer treatment if taken with dasatinib. If you take antacids, take them at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take dasatinib.

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
  • A headache that does not go away
  • Tiredness that interferes with your daily activities
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing 
  • Pain in your chest
  • Cough
  • Feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way (palpitations)
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Blood in your urine, vomit (bright red or coffee-ground) and/or stools (bright red, or black/tarry)
  • Coughing up blood
  • Diarrhea, 4 times in one day or diarrhea with lack of strength or a feeling of being dizzy
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking and/or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • Pain that does not go away, or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
  • New rash and/or itching
  • Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Flu-like symptoms: fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and fatigue (low energy, feeling weak)
  • Signs of tumor lysis: Confusion or agitation, decreased urine, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramping, numbness and/or tingling, seizures.
  • 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 30 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 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. 

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.