Leukemia Home > Sprycel Warnings and Precautions
Specific Precautions and Warnings With SprycelSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
- People who take Sprycel may experience fluid retention and swelling (edema). In some cases, this can lead to serious problems, such as when fluid builds up around the lungs, stomach, or heart. If you experience severe swelling, your healthcare provider may give you diuretics ("water pills") or other medications to treat the edema, or may temporarily stop your Sprycel treatment.
- Sprycel may cause abnormally low blood cell counts, such as low red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. This could increase your risk for anemia, infections, and bleeding problems. Your healthcare provider will monitor your blood counts with a simple blood test every week for your first two months of treatment, and then monthly thereafter. If you develop low blood cell counts, your healthcare provider may need to reduce your Sprycel dose or temporarily stop treatment.
- This medication can cause cardiac toxicity (damage to the heart), which could lead to problems such as a heart attack, congestive heart failure, and left ventricular dysfunction (when the left ventricle of the heart doesn't function normally). Your healthcare provider will monitor your heart function during treatment, and treat you if necessary.
- Sprycel may cause a potentially dangerous heart rhythm problem known as QT prolongation. You may have a higher risk for QT prolongation if you have low blood potassium or magnesium levels, or take certain other medications (see Sprycel Drug Interactions). Your healthcare provider will monitor your potassium and magnesium levels throughout treatment.
- Sprycel may cause a condition known as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), which is high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs. Your healthcare provider will need to check your heart and lungs before you start Sprycel, and throughout treatment. Let your healthcare provider know if you experience symptoms of PAH, such as shortness of breath, tiredness, or body swelling (edema).
- This medication has been reported to cause serious bleeding problems, including life-threatening or fatal bleeding of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and brain. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you develop:
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
- Black, tarry stools, bright-red blood in the stool, or vomiting of blood
- Difficulty speaking, weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, or a severe headache.
- Check with your healthcare provider before receiving a vaccination during Sprycel treatment. Some vaccinations may be less effective. You could also become infected with the bacteria or viruses used to make "live" vaccines (see Sprycel Drug Interactions).
- Sprycel may react with a number of other medications (see Sprycel Drug Interactions).
- Sprycel is a pregnancy Category D medication, which means it may harm an unborn child. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medication during pregnancy (see Sprycel and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if Sprycel passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking this drug (see Sprycel and Breastfeeding).