Vismodegib (Generic Name)

Other Names: ErivedgeTM

About This Drug

Vismodegib is used to treat cancer. It is given by mouth (orally).

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Muscle pain or spasms
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Infection
  • Changes in your heart beat called atrial fibrillation. You may feel your heart racing.
  • Changes in your electrolyte levels. Your blood will be checked as needed.
  • Changes in how your kidneys work. Your kidney function will be checked as needed.
  • Corneal abrasion. Your eyes may feel dry, irritated, and painful.

Reproductive Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may cause severe birth defects or fetal death. A pregnancy test should be obtained at least seven days prior to starting vismodegib and after a negative test. Highly effective contraception should be initiated prior to starting vismodegib and for seven months after treatment. Males with female partners of childbearing age should use condoms with spermicide (even after vasectomy) during and for two months after treatment.
  • Genetic counseling is available to discuss the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. In addition, a genetic counselor can review the potential risks of problems in the fetus due to this medication, if an exposure during pregnancy has occurred.
  • Breast-feeding warning: Women are advised not to breast-feed during treatment, because this drug could enter the breast milk and seriously harm the breast-feeding infant.

Treating Side Effects

  • Drink 6 to 8 cups of fluids every day, unless your doctor has told you to restrict your fluid intake due to another medical condition. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you vomit or have diarrhea, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated.
  • If you are constipated, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse for medicine to prevent or lessen your nausea, constipation, pain, muscle spasms, or dry eyes.
  • Speak with your nurse about obtaining a wig before you lose your hair. Also, call the American Cancer Society at 800-ACS-2345 for information about the “Look Good ... Feel Better” program close to where you live. It is a free program for women undergoing chemotherapy learn about wigs, turbans, and scarves, as well as makeup techniques and skin and nail care.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of vismodegib with food. This drug may interact with other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medications and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. Using these might unexpectedly 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.

Other Instructions

  • Speak with you doctor before you take antacids.
  • Swallow the capsule whole. Do not open or crush it.
  • You can take the medication with or without food. If you have nausea, take it with food.
  • If you take antacids, take the medication at least two hours before or after you take the antacid.
  • Do not donate blood while you are taking this drug and for seven months after you finish taking this drug.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Heart racing
  • Difficulty breathing or feeling short of breath.
  • Uncontrolled nausea that prevents you from eating or drinking.
  • Vomiting more than 3 times a day.
  • Painful eye or vision changes

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Extreme fatigue that interferes with normal activities.
  • Pain or spasms unrelieved by prescribed medication.
  • No bowel movement for 3 days or you feel uncomfortable.

New January 2013

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