Trametinib (Generic Name)

Other Names: Mekinist®

About This Drug 

Trametinib is used to treat patients with malignant melanoma. This drug is given by mouth.

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • Rash
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) that may last for a few days
  • Decrease in hemoglobin (anemia)

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Soreness of the mouth and throat.  You may have red areas, white patches or sores that hurt.
  • High blood pressure
  • Bleeding
  • Increase in liver enzymes
  • Fluid collection in the arms and/or legs

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 have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluid 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 the loose bowel movements.
  • Mouth care is very important.  Your mouth care should consist of routine, gentle cleaning of your teeth or dentures and rinsing of your mouth with a mixture of ½ teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water or ½ teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water.  This should be done after each meal and at bedtime.  If you have mouth sores, avoid mouthwash that has alcohol.  Avoid alcohol and smoking because they can bother your mouth and throat.
  • 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.  A rash that looks like acne may happen on your face and upper back when taking this medication.  Your doctor can give you medicine to help treat this.
  • Your doctor will check your blood counts, liver tests and blood pressure while you are taking this medicine.

Important Information

  • Take this drug on an empty stomach at least one hour before eating or two hours after eating. 
  • Take the tablet with water and swallow it whole.  Do not break, crush or chew the tablet.​
  • Missed dose: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 12 hours of your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at your normal scheduled time.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are known interactions with trametinib and grapefruit. Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this drug. This drug may interact with other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medication 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 unknown. 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. 

When to Call the Doctor

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

  • Rash or itching
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) more than 4 times a day or diarrhea with weakness or feeling lightheaded
  • Any bleeding that is not normal or bleeding that you cannot control

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

  • Pain in your mouth or throat that makes it hard to eat or drink
  • Swelling of the arms and/or legs

Reproduction Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn baby so effective methods of birth control should be used by you and your partner during your cancer treatment and for at least 3 months after the last dose of this drug. 
  • 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 with trametinib because this drug could enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

 

Revised September 2014

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