Bosutinib (Generic Name)

Other Names: Bosulif®

About This Drug:

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

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • Bone marrow depression. This is a decrease in the 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.
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) that may last for a few days
  • Nausea and throwing up (vomiting). These symptoms may happen within a few hours or many hours after your treatment.  Medicines are available to stop or lessen these side effects.
  • Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Cough
  • Muscle pain
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Changes in your liver function.  Your doctor will check your liver function as needed. 
  • Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to this drug are rare, but may happen in some patients.  Signs of allergic reactions to this drug may be a rash, fever, chills, feeling dizzy, trouble breathing, and/or feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way.  If you get any of these symptoms do not take another dose of this drug and get urgent medical treatment right away.

Treating Side Effects

  • Drink 6-8 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 from losing too much fluid).
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help stop or lessen nausea or loose bowel movements.
  • If you get a rash do not put anything on it 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.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are known interactions of bosutinib with grapefruit. Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this drug.
  • This drug may interact with other medicines. 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 help.

Important Information

  • Swallow the medicine whole. Do not chew, break, or crush it.
  • Take this medicine with food. Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this drug.
  • If you take antacids, take the bosutinib at least two hours before or two 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 (within 12 hours) to your next dose. Just take the next dose at your normal time. Do not take more than 1 dose at a time.

Special Instructions

When you tell a doctor or nurse your health history, always tell them that you are taking bosutinib.

When to Call the Doctor

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

  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) more than 4 times a day or diarrhea with weakness or lightheadedness
  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • Stomach pain
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Signs of liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very tired and weak, unusual itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin.
Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of these symptoms happen:
  • Extreme weakness that interferes with normal activities
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Nausea that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week
  • Swelling of legs, ankles, or feet
  • Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)

 Reproduction Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn baby, so effective methods of birth control should be used by both men and women during your cancer treatment and for at least 3 months after 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: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk.  For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

 Revised November 2014

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