Vemurafenib is used to treat certain types of melanoma (a type of skin cancer) that cannot be treated with surgery or that has spread to other parts of the body. Vemurafenib is in a class of medications called kinase inhibitors. It works by blocking the action of an abnormal protein that signals cancer cells to multiply. This helps slow or stop the spread of cancer cells.
Vemurafenib comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food twice a day, in the morning and evening, about 12 hours apart. Take vemurafenib at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take vemurafenib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking vemurafenib without talking to your doctor.
Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water; do not chew or crush them.
Your doctor may decrease your dose of vemurafenib or tell you to stop taking vemurafenib for a period of time during your treatment. This depends on how well the medication works for you and the side effects you experience. Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment with vemurafenib.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with vemurafenib and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is within 4 hours of your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
joint, muscle, arm, leg, or back pain
swelling in hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
change in sense of taste
dry or itchy skin
changes in skin appearance
skin sore or red bump that bleeds or does not heal
change in size or color of a mole
unusual bruising or bleeding
loss of appetite
pain in the upper right part of the stomach
yellowing of the skin or eyes
eye sensitivity to light
eye redness or pain
difficulty breathing or swallowing
rapid, irregular, or pounding heartbeats
rash or redness all over the body
peeling or blistering skin
Vemurafenib may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to vemurafenib. Your doctor will check your skin for any changes regularly during your treatment and for up to 6 months after treatment.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 03/15/2012
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.