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Niraparib

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About This Drug

Niraparib 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, and raise your risk of bleeding.
  • Nausea and vomiting (throwing up)
  • Diarrhea (loose bowel movements)
  • Constipation (not able to move bowels)
  • Tiredness
  • Decreased magnesium level in your blood
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
  • Pain in your joints, muscles or abdomen
  • Headache
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Rash
  • High blood pressure
  • Changes in your kidney function

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 10% or greater of patients treated with niraparib. Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • This drug may raise your risk of getting a second cancer such Myelodysplastic Syndrome and leukemia, which can be life-threatening.
  • Severe bone marrow suppression
  • Severe high blood pressure

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 or without food. Take your medicine at approximately the same time every day. Taking your medicine in the evening may help lessen nausea.
  • 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

  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day.
  • Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • To decrease your 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 your 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 water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • 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 and/or constipation. 
  • 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.
  • To help with decreased appetite, 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.
  • 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.
  • Keeping your pain under control is important to your well-being. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing pain.
  • If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to your nurse or doctor on tips to help you sleep better.
  • 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

  • There are no known interactions of niraparib with food.
  • This drug may interact with other medicines. 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.

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
  • Coughing up yellow, green or bloody mucus
  • Tiredness that interferes with your daily activities
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • A headache that does not go away
  • Blurry vision or other changes in eyesight
  • Easy bleeding or bruising 
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week
  • 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
  • No bowel movement in 3 days or when you feel uncomfortable
  • Pain that does not go away, or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • New rash and/or itching
  • Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Pain or burning when you pass urine
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Feeling like you have to pass urine often, but not much comes out when you do
  • Tender or heavy feeling in your lower abdomen
  • Cloudy urine and/or urine that smells bad
  • Pain on one side of your back under your ribs. This is where your kidneys are.
  • Decreased urine, or very dark urine
  • If you think you are 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 6 months 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 1 month 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.

Revised May 2020

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.