Vorinostat (By mouth)

Introduction

Vorinostat (vor-IN-oh-stat)

Treats cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).

Brand Name(s)

Zolinza

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to vorinostat, if you are pregnant, or if you have severe liver disease.

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. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
  • Swallow the capsule whole. Do not open, crush, break, or chew it.
  • Drink at least 68 ounces (2 liters) of fluids every day to prevent dehydration.
  • You may also receive medicines to help prevent nausea and vomiting.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

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 use valproic acid (Depakene®) or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Your unborn baby could be harmed if you use this medicine while you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, anemia, diabetes, stomach or bowel problems, a mineral imbalance (such as low potassium, calcium, or magnesium in your blood), or a history of blood clots.
  • This medicine may increase your risk for blood clots. Tell your doctor right away if you have chest pain, trouble breathing, or pain in your lower leg (calf) or if you cough up blood.
  • 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.
  • This medicine may increase blood sugar levels. Tell your doctor if you have increased hunger or thirst, changes in how much you urinate, or unusual weight loss. Check with your doctor if you notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • Cancer medicines can cause diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. Make sure to drink enough liquids so you do not get dehydrated. Ask your doctor about ways to control these side effects.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine 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
  • Changes in how much or how often you urinate, increased thirst or hunger, or muscle cramps
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, or coughing up blood
  • Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body
  • Pain in your lower leg (calf)
  • Red or black stools
  • Severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Sudden or severe headache, or problems with vision, speech, or walking
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or tiredness

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

  • Change or loss of taste
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild diarrhea or nausea
  • 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

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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