Dasatinib (Generic Name)

Other Names: Sprycel®

About This Drug:

Dasatinib is used to treat cancer. It is taken by mouth (orally).

Possible side effects (more common)

  • Bone marrow depression. This is a low number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This may raise your risk of infection, make you tired and weak (fatigue), and raise your risk of bleeding.
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Swelling of your legs, ankles, and/or feet
  • Nausea and throwing up (vomiting). These symptoms may happen within a few hours after your treatment and may last up to 24 hours. Medicines are available to stop or lessen these side effects.
  • Loss of appetite (decreased hunger)
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) that may last for a few days
  • Muscle or joint pain or muscle spasms
  • Feeling tired
  • Trouble breathing or feeling short of breath

Possible side effects (less common)

  • Hair loss. Most often hair loss is temporary; your hair should grow back when treatment is done.
  • Effects on the nerves are called peripheral neuropathy. You may feel numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands and feet. It may be hard for you to button your clothes, open jars, or walk as usual. The effect on the nerves may get worse with more doses of the drug. These effects get better in some people after the drug is stopped, but it does not get better in all people.
  • This drug may affect how your kidneys work. Your kidney function will be checked as needed.
  • Changes in the tissue of the heart. Some changes may happen that can cause your heart to have less ability to pump blood. Your heart function will be checked as needed.
  • Changes in your liver function. Your liver function will be checked as needed
  • Changes in your eyesight
  • Trouble breathing because of fluid build-up in your lungs
  • Trouble sleeping

Treating side effects

  • Drink 6 to 8 cups of fluids each day, unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body due to losing too much fluid).
  • Do not put anything on your rash, unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry. Ask your doctor for medicine if your rash bothers you.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse for medicine to stop or lessen your nausea, loose bowel movements, muscle or joint pain, muscle spasms, headache, or trouble sleeping.
  • If you have numbness, tingling, and pain in your hands and feet, be careful when cooking, walking, and handling sharp objects and hot liquids.
  • If you are dizzy, get up slowly after sitting or lying down
  • Speak with your nurse about getting a wig before you lose your hair. Also, call the American Cancer Society at 800-ACS-2345 to find out information about the “Look Good, Feel Better” program close to where you live. It is a free program where women getting chemotherapy learn about wigs, turbans and scarves as well as makeup techniques and skin and nail care.

Food and drug interactions

  • There are known interactions of dasatinib with food and with some other medicines and products like acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen. Ask your doctor what over-the-counter (OTC) medicines you can take for fever, headache and muscle and joint pain. Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice.
  • Talk with your doctors if you use St. John’s Wort, garlic, ginseng, and/or ginkgo. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's advice.
  • Drugs that treat heartburn and stomach upset such Maalox®, Mylanta®, Protonix®, Nexium®, Prilosec®, Pepcid®, Tagamet®, and Zantac® may lessen the effect of your cancer treatment if taken with dasatinib. Call your doctor to find out what drug you may take with dasatinib to help with heartburn or stomach upset.

Other instructions

  • Swallow this drug whole. Do not chew, break, or crush it.
  • You can take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, take it with food.
  • If you take antacids, take this drug at least two hours before or 2 hours after you take the antacid.
  • Missed dose: if you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take it if it is close (less than 12 hours) of your next dose. Just take the dose at your normal time. Do not take more than 1 dose at a time.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Trouble breathing or feeling short of breath.
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking.
  • Throwing up (vomiting) more than three times a day.
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) four or more times a day or diarrhea with weakness or feeling dizzy.
  • Rash or itching
  • Severe headache or confusion
  • Dizziness that stops you from standing and walking safely.
  • Changes in eyesight

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of these symptoms happen:

  • Nausea that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Numbness, tingling, decreased feeling, or weakness in fingers, toes, arms, or legs.
  • Trouble walking or changes in the way you walk, clumsiness in buttoning clothes, opening jars, or other routine hand motions
  • Extreme tiredness or weakness that interferes with normal activities.
  • Muscle or joint pain or spasms unrelieved by prescribed medication.
  • Swelling of your legs, ankles, or feet.
  • Headache that does not go away

Reproductive Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used during your cancer treatment.
    Genetic counseling is available for you to talk about the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. Also, a genetic counselor can look at the possible risk of problems in the unborn baby due to this medicine if an exposure happens during pregnancy.
  • Breast-feeding warning: Women should not breast feed during treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

Revised July 2014

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