Common Brand Name(s): Zolinza
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Vorinostat is used to treat a certain type of cancer (CTCL-cutaneous T-cell lymphoma). It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.
How To Use
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking vorinostat and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush, chew, or open the capsules.
Do not use capsules that are opened or crushed. If your skin or eyes come in contact with the powder inside the capsule, wash the area well with plenty of water and call your doctor.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
To prevent dehydration while taking this medication, drink at least 8 glasses of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters each) throughout the day unless your doctor directs you otherwise.
Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the capsules.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Tiredness, loss of appetite, weight loss, dizziness, dry mouth, change in the sense of taste, hair loss, headache, or cough may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can also occur and may be severe. Tell your doctor right away if these effects occur. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve them. Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or limiting activity may help to lessen the nausea and vomiting.
People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
Persistent vomiting/diarrhea may result in a serious loss of body water (dehydration). Contact your doctor promptly if you notice any symptoms of dehydration, such as unusual decreased urination, unusual dry mouth/thirst, fast heartbeat, or dizziness/lightheadedness.
This medication may rarely make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
This medication decreases bone marrow function, an effect that may lead to a low number of blood cells such as red cells, white cells, and platelets. This effect can cause anemia, decrease your body's ability to fight an infection, or cause easy bruising/bleeding. You may be at an increased risk for stomach/intestine bleeding if you are taking certain medications (see also Drug Interaction section). Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of the following unlikely symptoms:
- unusual tiredness
- pale skin
- signs of infection (such as fever, chills, persistent sore throat)
- easy bruising/bleeding
- signs of stomach/intestine bleeding (such as black/bloody stools, vomit that contains blood or looks like coffee grounds, dizziness)
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- signs of low levels of magnesium/potassium/calcium in the blood (such as severe muscle spasms/cramps, irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes, seizures)
This medication may rarely cause blood clots (such as pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis). You may be at increased risk for blood clots if you have a history of blood clots. Get medical help right away if any of these side effects occur:
- chest pain
- pain/redness/swelling usually in the leg
- trouble breathing
Get medical help right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur:
- fast/irregular heartbeat
- severe dizziness
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- liver disease
- certain mineral imbalances (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood)
- blood clots
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Vorinostat may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using vorinostat, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions:
- certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG)
- family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death)
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using vorinostat safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should have a pregnancy test before starting this medication. You should not become pregnant while using vorinostat. Vorinostat may harm an unborn baby. Females using this medication should ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for at least 6 months after stopping treatment. Males using this medication should ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for at least 3 months after stopping treatment. If you or your partner become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug and for at least 1 week after stopping treatment. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
- "blood thinners" (such as warfarin)
- valproic acid
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as complete blood count, kidney function, blood glucose levels, blood mineral levels including potassium/magnesium/calcium) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised January 2019.
Copyright(c) 2019 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.