Vorinostat (By mouth)

Introduction

Vorinostat (vor-IN-oh-stat)

Treats a type of skin cancer called cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Zolinza

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to vorinostat, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may also receive medicines to help prevent nausea and vomiting.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food. You should drink plenty of fluids, 6 to 8 glasses (8 ounces each) every day, with this medicine to keep from getting dehydrated.
  • Swallow the capsule whole. Do not open, crush, break, or chew it.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • If you vomit after taking your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using valproic acid (Depakene®) or a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are using medicines that might prolong the QT interval in the heart such as cisapride (Propulsid®), medicines for depression (such as amitriptyline, fluoxetine, nortriptyline, Elavil®, Pamelor®, Prozac®, Sarafem®, or Vivactil®), antibiotics (such as erythromycin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, Avelox®, Levaquin®, or Zagam®), or medicines for mental problems (such as haloperidol, mesoridazine, pimozide, prochlorperazine, quetiapine, thioridazine, ziprasidone, Compazine®, Geodon®, Haldol®, Mellaril®, Orap®, Serentil®, or Seroquel®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, a history of blood clots, stomach or bowel problems, or a mineral imbalance such as low potassium, calcium, or magnesium in your blood. Tell your doctor if you have a history of heart rhythm problem such as congenital long QT syndrome.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have diabetes. This medicine may cause your blood sugar to be high, so you may need to check your blood sugar and urine more often. Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines for diabetes. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about special diets.
  • This medicine may cause blood clots. Tell your doctor right away if you have chest pain, shortness of breath, pain in your lower leg (calf), or start coughing up blood while using this medicine.
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood.
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, or muscle spasms or cramps.
  • Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Pain in your lower leg (calf).
  • Rapid weight gain.
  • Red or black stools.
  • Severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Change in taste.
  • Constipation.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Loss or thinning of hair.
  • Mild headache.
  • Skin rash or itching.
  • Weight loss.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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