Understanding Possible Side Effects of IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib)
IMBRUVICA® may cause serious side effects, including bleeding problems (hemorrhage), infections, decrease in blood cell counts, heart rhythm problems (ventricular arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, and atrial flutter), high blood pressure (hypertension), second primary cancers, and tumor lysis syndrome (TLS).1
The most common side effects in the chronic graft versus host disease (cGVHD) clinical trial were1:
Low platelet counts
Low red blood cell count
Mouth sores (stomatitis)
In the cGVHD clinical trial nearly 1 in 4 of patients stopped taking IMBRUVICA® because of side effects.1
This is not a complete list of side effects. Others may occur. Tell your doctor if you think you are experiencing side effects.
If you are having some side effects, your doctor may tell you to lower your dose or to stop taking IMBRUVICA®. That’s one reason it’s so important to tell your healthcare team about side effects at any point in your treatment.1
Helpful tips for cGVHD patients taking IMBRUVICA®
You may experience side effects while taking IMBRUVICA®.1 The suggestions below may help you while on IMBRUVICA®. Talk to your healthcare provider if you think you are experiencing any side effects.
Tips to help with diarrhea2:
Diarrhea can be an uncomfortable side effect for patients taking IMBRUVICA®. It can also be a sign your cGVHD is getting worse.3 So be sure to contact your doctor right away if you develop this symptom. In the meantime, there are also some tips that can help you manage your condition:
Stay hydrated. Drink fluids such as water, decaffeinated tea, and clear broth
Eat small meals often, and avoid very hot or spicy foods
Avoid greasy foods, bran, raw fruits and vegetables, and caffeine
Avoid alcohol and tobacco
To help reduce tiredness4:
Balance periods of light movement with periods of rest
Get plenty of sleep, which may include short naps
Remain well hydrated throughout the day
Eat a well-balanced diet that includes protein
To help prevent infection5:
Wash hands often and bathe every day
Avoid crowds and individuals with contagious diseases
Do not keep fresh flowers or live plants in your living space
Do not clean droppings from your pets; have someone do this for you
Infection is a serious possible side effect of IMBRUVICA®. Notify a healthcare professional immediately if signs of infection (eg, fever, chills, weakness, and confusion) occur.1
- IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib) Prescribing Information. Pharmacyclics LLC. 2019.
- American Cancer Society. Getting help with diarrhea. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/cancer-control/en/booklets-flyers/getting-help-for-diarrhea-english.pdf. Accessed August 16, 2018.
- Choi SW, Levine JE, Ferrara JL. Pathogenesis and management of graft versus host disease. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2010;30(1):75-101.
- American Cancer Society. Managing cancer-related fatigue at home. https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/physical-side-effects/fatigue/managing-fatigue-at-home.html. Accessed August 16, 2018.
- American Cancer Society. Preventing infections in people with cancer. https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/physical-side-effects/infections/preventing-infections-in-people-with-cancer.html. Accessed August 16, 2018.
From the moment you’re prescribed IMBRUVICA®, YOU&i™ provides information and support for getting the help you may need during treatment.
Coverage and Cost
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IMBRUVICA® Nurse Educators
Call a Nurse Educator if you have questions about IMBRUVICA®.