Some Tips for Patients who are Taking a CDK4/6 Inhibitor
CDK4/6 inhibitors are pills taken orally and mostly they are prescribed along with hormonal therapy. If you are taking a CDK4/6 inhibitor, in this article Parsian pharma have some recommendations that can help things go more easily.
Create a system for organizing your medications
Ask your physician how you should get your medication. Abemaciclib is taken daily, while Palbociclib and Ribociclib are taken for three weeks on and one week off. For most patients, they’ll be on hormonal therapy along with the CDK4/6 inhibitor. Using a pill organizer or setting reminders on computer, smartphone or watch can help patients to be aware of their medication schedule.
Be prepared for dose adjustments, especially during the first weeks of treatment
Patients must have frequent blood and liver function tests as they start taking a CDK4/6 inhibitor. Based on these test results and patient’s symptoms of having any kind of side effects like; fatigue, low white blood cell counts and severe diarrhea, the treatment team may recommend patient lowering the dose or taking breaks from treatment. This is quite common and doesn’t lead to any problem. Dose adjustments should be made to help patients get the benefit of the treatment while minimizing adverse effects.
Be aware of preventing infection
These medications lead to decrease of white blood cells and can increase the risk of infection. With palbociclib and ribociclib especially during the third week of the treatment cycle (before the fourth week off), we expect the lowest count of white blood cells. So washing hands frequently or using hand sanitizer, avoiding from being presented in large crowds and staying away from people who are sick, can help patients from being infected. In patients who are on palbociclib, developing mouth sores is so common, according to patient’s experience, using Biotene mouthwash and toothpaste and also soft-bristle tooth brush and swishing with baking soda during the daytime can be helpful.
Drink plenty of fluids every day
With all of these medicines, drinking lots of water can be helpful. Especially during the week four of treatment when patient’s mouth get “hot”, drinking icy cold water is the best.
Many people experience fatigue and/or nausea, so plan your schedule accordingly
Patients who are taking CDK4/6 inhibitor may get tire more easily. They should get help with tasks like; cooking, cleaning, and childcare and work obligations. But it’s so important to be physically active even if that means taking a daily 15-minute walk or whatever patients like. According to patient’s experience, cold foods are better option than warm/hot food for controlling nausea symptoms.
If you are taking a CDK4/6 inhibitor stop eating or drinking grapefruit
If you’re a grapefruit fan, put it aside for now, since it can have some interaction with CDK4/6 inhibitors and can increase their effects.
Report any other concerning symptoms to your treatment team
Developing serious adverse effects with CDK4/6 inhibitors are rare but can occur. One such critical adverse effect is severe inflammation of the lungs, so if you have chest discomfort or trouble breathing, report this to your treatment team. Another is liver function problems, which can cause yellowing of the skin and eyes, dark-colored urine, and pain in your right abdomen. Ribociclib may cause a heart problem known as QT interval prolongation, tell your physician right away if you have an irregular or rapid heartbeat, or if you feel dizzy or like you might faint. Whatever medication you’re taking, ask about possible serious adverse effects and what to watch out for.
Be patient and give it time
Finding the best dose for each patient which is effective and doesn’t cause side effect can take a time. Based on clinical experience for achieving treatment goal, patients don’t need to be at highest dose to be cured. They just should do some advice like drinking lots of water, eating small meals during a day and getting some rest for the first few weeks of treatment for decreasing side effects. Also, patients should avoid from being presented in crowd places as an important fact of preventing getting infections.
CDK4/6 inhibitors role in Breast Cancer:
CDK4/6 inhibitors are the new class of interest for treating patients with metastatic hormone receptor (HR) positive breast cancer, and their side effects can easily being managed by patients and treatment team with above-mentioned advice. According to recent data of this new class of interest, nowadays palbociclib is the most prescribed and well known CDK4/6 inhibitors among the others. Hence, Parsian Pharmaceutical Company has chosen Palbociclib over other CDK4/6 inhibitors for helping patients with Breast cancer.
For more clinical information regard CDK4/6 inhibitors and their efficacy, you can find out more at Parsian pharma recent article
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