Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Dasatinib is a type of targeted drug which works by blocking particular proteins on cancer cells that help the cancer to grow; hence, slowing down the growth of cancer cells. It is commonly used for the treatment of Philadelphia-chromosome positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

How should I take/use this medication?

You may take this medication with or without food, either in the morning or in the evening. Swallow the tablet whole, do not crush or chew it.

Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your healthcare professional.

If possible, handle the medication yourself. If a family member or caregiver needs to give the medication, do wash their hands before and after handling the medication.

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. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You or your partner is pregnant or planning to become pregnant
    • This medication may affect your ability to have children. You should discuss with your doctor regarding fertility preservation prior to starting treatment
    • You should use effective birth control during treatment and for at least 1 month after stopping Dasatinib
  • You are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
    • Do not breastfeed during treatment and for at least 2 weeks after stopping Dasatinib
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Temporary decrease in blood cell counts
    • This may put you at higher risk of infections, bleeding or bruising and feeling tired
    • Reduce your risk of getting an infection by:
      • Maintaining good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often during the day especially before you eat or after using the toilet.
      • Avoid crowds and do not go near people who are sick. Wear a mask if necessary.
      • Eating freshly cooked food. Avoid raw meats, vegetables, eggs, half-cooked or uncooked food
    • Brush teeth gently with a soft bristle toothbrush to prevent gum bleeding
    • Be careful when handling sharp objects such as scissors or knives
  • Nausea/vomiting
    • Take small and frequent meals, rather than 3 large meals
    • Consume food that are cold or at room temperature to avoid becoming nauseated from the smell
  • Loose and frequent stools (diarrhoea)
    • Reduce consumption of foods high in fibre such as raw fruits and vegetables which cause softer and more frequent stools
    • Have foods such as porridge or soups which are gentler on the stomach
    • Ensure you are drinking sufficient fluid (at least 2 litres or 8 cups of water or fluids a day)
    • Avoid spicy and/or fried food
    • Avoid alcohol
    • Avoid coffee, tea, milk and dairy products.
    • Take antidiarrheal medicine as instructed to manage your diarrhoea. Inform your doctor if the antidiarrhoeal medicine does not help with your diarrhoea.
  • Fluid retention
    • For mild symptoms such as swelling of feet or lower legs: elevate your legs on a stool, cushion or pillow when sitting or sleeping
    • For severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing accompanied with cough, puffy eyes or rapid weight gain: proceed to Emergency Department immediately
  • Skin rash and itch
    • Applying moisturizer to dry areas may help with the itch.
    • Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and apply sunscreen with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) when going under the sun.
  • Headache, muscle and joint pain
    • Avoid intense physical exercise to prevent it from getting worse

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

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Other serious side effects include:

  • Infections
    • Signs of an infection include:
      • Fever (temperature over 38°C)
      • Chills
      • Severe sore throat
      • Cough with thick or green phlegm
      • Cloudy or foul smelling urine
      • Painful, tender, or swollen red skin wounds or sores
  • Unusual bleeding
    • Signs of unusual bleeding include
      • Bruising without a cause or bruising that gets bigger
      • Dark (black or red), sticky stools
      • Coughing out blood
      • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
      • Blood in the urine
      • Bleeding that you cannot stop
  • Severe symptoms of excessive fluid in your body such as difficulty breathing accompanied with cough, puffy eyes or rapid weight gain
  • Abnormal or irregular heartbeat, chest pain and shortness of breath
  • Red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin

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, pomelo, starfruit, pomegranate and their juices when you are taking Dasatinib as they may interact with Dasatinib and increase the risk of side-effects.

Antacids should be separated from Dasatinib by at least 2 hours as it may reduce absorption of Dasatinib. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other drugs that can reduce stomach acid such as Omeprazole or Famotidine.

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


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 Apr 2023

Back to Top