Bosulif is the brand name of the medication bosutinib. This is a prescription medication used in the treatment of a specific type of cancer called chronic myeloid leukemia that is Philadelphia chromosome positive. This type of cancer is also called chronic myelogenous leukemia. This medication is used for this disease when there is a sudden attack of it or it is growing quickly. It’s also used in the chronic phase of the disease.

This medication works by having an effect on certain enzymes that are involved with cancer cells so that the growth and spread of these cells are reduced. Bosulif is used when the disease has just been diagnosed as well as in patients who have been on previous medications that didn’t work or caused too many side effects.

Bosulif belongs to a specific drug class called tyrosine kinase inhibitors. It’s generally used by adults, but it can be used in children who are one year old and over when needed. This drug was FDA approved in 2012.

Precautions and Warnings of Bosulif

If you have ever been allergic to this medication, don’t take it. Make sure that your doctor knows about any other allergies you have. Tell your doctor about your full medical history, especially if you have ever had kidney disease or liver disease.

Patients shouldn’t use alcohol or cannabis while taking this medication. Bosulif can cause dizziness, and using marijuana or alcohol can make this worse. Before you drive or use other machinery, make sure that you know how this medication affects you and whether it’s safe to drive. If you drink alcohol while taking Bosulif, it can also lead to liver problems.

If you have any type of surgery planned, make sure your doctor or dentist knows that you’re taking this drug as well as any other drugs you take. If you’re going to get any type of immunization, tell the practitioner that you’re on this medication. Stay away from anyone who has recently had a live vaccine. This includes the inhaled version of the flu vaccine.

This medication can cause excess bleeding, so be careful when using sharp implements like razors. Avoid contact sports that could cause bruising. It’s also important to be careful when handling the tablets. This medication can be absorbed through both the lungs and skin. If you’re pregnant, don’t handle the capsules or tablets, and don’t breathe in any dust from them. Don’t break the medication or get it on your skin. If any gets on your skin, wash the area with soap and water.

This medication isn’t recommended for pregnant women. It can cause harm to a baby. Use reliable birth control while taking it. Keep using birth control for at least two weeks after you finish taking Bosulif. If you get pregnant while using this medication, tell your doctor immediately. You will likely be given a pregnancy test before you get prescribed this medication. There is no data about whether it shows up in breast milk, but it isn’t recommended to breastfeed while taking it. Don’t breastfeed until at least two weeks after you finish taking this medication.

Bosulif can give you a higher risk of developing liver problems. If you get shortness of breath, rapid weight gain, blood in your stools, severe vomiting, or jaundice, let your doctor know right away. You may need to stop taking the medication because of liver damage. You’ll likely be monitored while taking this medication for liver health.

This medication can also cause you to have heart problems or extra fluid retention. If you have a heart rate that’s too fast or too slow, or you have a weak pulse, call your doctor right away.

Side Effects of Bosulif

There are a lot of side effects possible with this medication. You may have one or more side effects, or you may not have any. Side effects may go away once you’ve been on the medication for a few weeks.

Common Side Effects

Some of the most common effects include:

  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Cough
  • Flu
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Reduced appetite
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Edema- a buildup of fluid

Serious Side Effects

There are more serious side effects that can also occur with this medication. If you get severe stomach problems, you may have severe vomiting and diarrhea as well as severe abdominal pain and less appetite. If you get kidney damage, you may urinate less than usual, confusion, fatigue, edema, and high blood pressure.

Severe Fluid Retention

You will also be at a higher risk for severe fluid retention. This can cause you to have a buildup of fluid around the abdomen, lungs, and heart. This can cause chest pain, rapid weight gain, dry cough, difficulty breathing when lying down, shortness of breath, and a swollen abdomen.

If you develop diarrhea, make sure that you drink a lot of fluids to avoid dehydration. Tell your doctor about this symptom right away. They may need to prescribe an anti-diarrheal medication. This medication can also cause anemia. The signs of this are easy bruising and bleeding, chronic sore throat, unusual fatigue, and pale skin.

Bosulif Drug Interactions

There can be interactions with the herb St. John’s Wort and with any supplements that contain grapefruit extract. Patients taking Bosulif should avoid proton pump inhibitor medications that are used for GERD, indigestion, and heartburn.

There are a lot of drugs that can interfere with the way Bosulif works and may need to be stopped before you take this medication. Don’t stop taking any drug without talking to your doctor first. Some of the drugs that can pose a problem include:

Strengths and Dosages of Bosulif

This medication comes in both capsule and tablet form. The tablet form comes in strengths of 100 mg, 400 mg, and 500 mg. The capsule form comes in strengths of 50 mg and 100 mg. The dose that you get will depend on certain factors including the side effects that you have and the severity of your condition. The highest dose possible is 600 mg per day.

Tablets:100 mg, 400 mg, 500 mg
Capsules:50 mg, 100 mg

Cost of Bosulif in America

There is no generic to this name-brand medication, so the price has remained quite high. Your specific price will depend on factors such as the strength of the prescription, the area you live in, the pharmacy you use, and whether you have any coupon help to lower the price. The manufacturer of this medication, Pfizer, has a program to help oncology patients pay for their drugs. You could get a significant amount off the price by participating in this program.

A supply of 30 capsules at the 50 mg strength is about $5,200 with higher strengths costing much more. If you use a coupon card from one of the companies that makes these free cards, you can get about a third of the price off. If you have health insurance and will have a large co-pay, you can also use your coupon code along with the insurance policy for an even lower price.

Bosulif Alternatives

There are several alternatives to taking Bosulif. These include Gleevec, Tasigna, Sprycel, Hydroxyurea, Dasatinib. If you aren’t able to take Bosulif, your doctor may be able to prescribe one of these other drugs to treat your condition. Sometimes people have to switch medications because it isn’t working for them, or the side effects become too severe.

FAQs of Bosulif

Is there a generic of Bosulif?

No, there is no generic yet.

Who manufactures Bosulif?

The manufacturer is Pfizer, Inc.

What is Bosulif used for?

It’s prescribed for a condition called chronic myeloid leukemia that is Philadelphia chromosome positive.

Can you drink alcohol while you taking Bosulif?

No, it’s highly recommended that you do not drink any alcohol during your treatment with Bosulif.

Can pregnant or breastfeeding women take Bosulif?

No, it can be dangerous to the baby to take this while pregnant or breastfeeding. Pregnant women also should not handle the medication, get it on their skin, or breathe in any of the powder.

Is Bosulif an expensive medication?

Yes, because there is no generic, the price has stayed at several thousand dollars for each month’s medication.

Is it ok to take cannabis with Bosulif?

No, it’s not recommended to use it while on Bosulif. It can cause the dizziness caused by the medication to get worse.

Can I get a live vaccine while taking Bosulif?

No, it’s not recommended while on this medication. You should also stay away from anyone who has gotten a live vaccine recently.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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