About This Drug
Rucaparib 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 and vomiting (throwing up)
- Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
- Pain in your abdomen
- Constipation (not able to move bowels)
- Diarrhea (loose bowel movements)
- Changes in your liver function
- Increase in cholesterol levels
- Changes in the way food and drinks taste
- Tiredness, weakness
- Changes in your kidney function
- Trouble breathing
- Upper respiratory infection
- Inflammation of your nasal and throat passages
Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 20% or greater of patients treated with rucaparib. Not all possible side effects are included above.
Warnings and Precautions
- This drug may raise your risk of getting a second cancer.
How to Take Your Medication
- Swallow the medicine whole with or without food.
- 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 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.
- Taking good care of your mouth may help food taste better and improve your appetite.
- Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended).
- Ask your doctor or nurse about medicines that are available to help stop or lessen constipation, diarrhea and/or nausea.
- If you are not able to move your bowels, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.
- 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 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.
- 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 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.
- While you are taking rucaparib, use sunscreen when you are outdoors even for a short time. Cover up when you are out in the sun. Wear wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and pants. Keep your neck, chest, and back covered.
Food and Drug Interactions
- There are no known interactions of rucaparib 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 the following symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:
- Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Coughing up yellow, green, or bloody mucus
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Tiredness that interferes with your daily activities
- Extreme weakness that interferes with normal activities
- Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking, and/or not relieved by prescribed medicines
- Throwing up more than 3 times a day
- Diarrhea, more than 4 times a 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 in your abdomen that does not go away
- Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week
- Decreased or dark urine
- Pain in your lower back or side
- Signs of liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very tired and weak, unusual itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin
- Bad abdominal pain, especially in upper right area
- New rash and/or itching
- Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
- If you think you are pregnant
- 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 months after 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 2 weeks after treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breastfeeding baby.
- Fertility warning: 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 July 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.