Sprycel is available by prescription and is used to treat certain types of leukemia that affect the blood and bone marrow. It works by reducing the activity of certain proteins in the body that the cancer cells need to grow. This medicine comes in the form of a tablet and is taken once daily. Side effects may include headaches, diarrhea, and fatigue.
What Is Sprycel?
Sprycel® (dasatinib) is a prescription medication approved to treat certain types of leukemia (cancer of the blood and bone marrow). Sprycel belongs to a group of medicines known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Protein kinases are proteins found in the body that control cell function, including cell growth. Sprycel works by reducing the activity of BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase, a type of protein kinase that causes the growth of leukemia cancer cells. By reducing BCR-ABL activity, Sprycel slows down the growth of leukemia cancer cells.
Sprycel has been shown to be effective for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML, a type of leukemia) in clinical studies. In one of these studies, 77 percent of people given Sprycel had a "complete cytogenic response" (when cells with the abnormal chromosome that causes CML are not detectable in the blood and bone marrow), compared with 66 percent of people given Gleevec® (imatinib), another leukemia medication.
Another clinical study included people who previously took Gleevec, but stopped responding to it or did not tolerate it. In this study, 62 percent of people given Sprycel achieved a complete cytogenic response. Also, 80 percent of people had not progressed to a worse stage of leukemia after two years of treatment.
Sprycel Web site. Available at: http://www.Sprycel.com/index.jsp. Accessed October 15, 2011.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed October 14, 2011.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
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