Leukemia Home > Bosulif

If you have a certain type of leukemia, your healthcare provider may prescribe Bosulif. This medication is available as a tablet that is taken once daily. Your dosage will be based on how you respond to the medicine, other medical conditions you may have, and various other factors. Side effects can include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

What Is Bosulif?

Bosulif® (bosutinib) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of leukemia, a cancer of the blood cells and bone marrow. It is specifically approved to treat a type of leukemia called Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia (Ph+ CML). Bosulif is reserved for use in people who no longer benefit from or cannot tolerate other types of treatment.
(Click Bosulif Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Bosulif is made by Pfizer Labs.

How Does Bosulif Work?

Bosulif belongs to a group of medicines known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Tyrosine kinases are proteins found in the body that control cell function, including cell growth.
Bosulif works by blocking the signal of certain tyrosine kinases, specifically Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase, which stimulates the development of the abnormal blood cells that cause leukemia. By inhibiting the activity of Bcr-Abl kinase, Bosulif slows down or stops the production of the abnormal blood cells.

Clinical Effects

Bosulif was studied in a trial that included people with CML who had previously been treated with another tyrosine kinase inhibitor known as imatinib (Gleevec®). Some people had also been treated with other tyrosine kinase inhibitors after imatinib.
In this study, 34 percent of people given Bosulif had a major cytogenetic response after 24 weeks of treatment. A major cytogenetic response means that at least 65 percent of blood cells are normal. More than half the people (52.8 percent) continued to respond to treatment for at least 18 months. 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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