Medication Information Leaflet

​What is this medication for?

Dabrafenib is used to treat melanoma (a type of skin cancer) or non-small cell lung cancer or anaplastic thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is often given with another medication called Trametinib. 

Your doctor will check for a gene mutation before starting you on this.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Take Dabrafenib two times a day, space about 12 hours between each dose.
  • Take it on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food.
  • Do not break open 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, take it as soon as you remember. However if it is less than 6 hours to your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses at the same time.

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 treatment and for 2 weeks after stopping Dabrafenib (or 4 months if used in combination with Trametinib).
  • You are breastfeeding
    • Do not breastfeed during treatment and for 2 weeks after stopping Dabrafenib (or 4 months if used in combination with Trametinib).
  • You have any other medical conditions such as heart problems, eye problems, diabetes or G6PD-deficiency.

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Dry skin, rash and itch
    • Moisturize your skin daily.
    • Avoid too much exposure to the sun as it may make the rash worse. Use sunscreen and covered clothing if you need to be under the sun for a long period of time.
  • Diarrhea
    • Drink plenty of clear fluids to replace those lost (2 litres everyday).
    • Avoid oily or spicy food and milk or dairy products.
  • Nausea (especially when taken together with Trametinib)
    • Take small, frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Feeling tired and lack of energy
    • Do not drive or operate machinery when you feel tired.
  • Joint or muscle ache
    • Apply a warm compress to the area that aches.
  • Mild fever
    • Drink more water to help cool your body down.
    • Place a cold towel on your forehead.
  • Hair loss

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

  • Fast heartbeat, chest pain, light-headedness or unusual swelling of the hands or feet
  • Warmth, pain, redness or discoloration on the arm or leg
  • Sudden onset of cough or shortness of breath
  • Fever of 38° C and above, especially with chills, pain or difficulty in passing urine
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising or black sticky stools
  • Dark urine or light coloured stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, yellowing of your eyes or skin
  • Very bad pain around the stomach area
  • Changes in eyesight or eye pain
  • Feeling very thirsty and having to pass urine very often
  • New skin lesions
  • Redness, swelling, tenderness or peeling of skin on hands or feet

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 Dabrafenib and increase the risk of side-effects.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other medications, including oral contraceptives, supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies. Some of them may affect how Dabrafenib works.

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 Dabrafenib 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/ 



Please take note that the above is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you have any concerns about your medication or if you have other side effects that you think are caused by this medication, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

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 August 2023

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