Palbociclib

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Palbociclib is used to treat hormone-positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is used together with other medications such as Letrozole or Fulvestrant.


How should I take/use this medication?

  • Take Palbociclib once a day with food, for 3 weeks, followed by 1 week of rest, in a 4-week cycle. 
  • Do not break open, chew or crush the capsule. Swallow the capsule whole.
    • Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have difficulty swallowing.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to take a dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for the missed dose. 


What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 
  • You are allergic to this medication 
  • You or your partner becomes pregnant or is planning for pregnancy. You should use effective birth control during and for at least:
    • 3 weeks after stopping Palbociclib (for women)
    • 14 weeks after stopping Palbociclib (for men)
  • You are breastfeeding
    • Do not breastfeed during treatment

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Nausea and vomiting
    • Take small, frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Decreased appetite
  • Sore mouth or mouth ulcers
    • Rinse your mouth after meals using an alcohol-free mouthwash or salt water.
    • Brush your teeth gently with a soft toothbrush.
  • Diarrhea and/or stomach discomfort
    • Drink plenty of clear fluids to replace those lost (2 litres everyday).
    • Avoid oily or spicy food and milk or dairy products.
  • Hair loss
    • Use a gentle shampoo to wash your hair.
  • Rash
    • Avoid taking hot showers.
  • Feeling tired and lack of energy
    • Do not drive or operate machinery when you feel tired.
  • Decreased white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets
    • This may put you at higher risk of infections, bleeding or bruising and feeling tired.
    • To reduce your risk of infection:
      • Avoid crowds and people who are sick. Wear a face mask when you are going out.
      • Wash your hands after using the toilet and before handling food.
      • Eat food that is fresh and completely cooked, and avoid raw or half-cooked food.
    • To reduce your risk of bleeding problems:
      • Be careful when using sharp objects such as knives.
      • Try not to bruise, cut or knock yourself.
      • Brush your teeth gently as your gums may bleed more easily.
      • Apply direct pressure to any cuts or wounds to help stop bleeding.
If any of these side-effects are very bad, see your healthcare professional immediately.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

  • Signs of infection - fever of 38° C and above, chills, cough, body aches
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, black sticky stools or blood in urine
  • Cough with chest pain or breathing difficulty
The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Avoid taking grapefruit when you are taking this medication as grapefruit may interact with your medication and increase the risk of side-effects.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking or intend to take any other medication, supplements, traditional medications or herbal remedies.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack Palbociclib into a bag and bring it back to the pharmacy where you received it from. 

You may refer to the following website if you need more information: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/ 


Disclaimers
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.


This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on September 2019
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Palbociclib

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