Cotellic is a prescription medication that is used to treat cancer. It’s in a larger medication group called antineoplastics and a more specific group called protein kinase inhibitors. This medication is used to treat a kind of skin cancer called melanoma. It is only used for cancer patients with a mutation in their BRAF gene. The cancer must be tested to see whether the patient has this mutated gene before they can take Cotellic.

This medication works by recognizing specific kinds of cancer cells and attaching to them. This can make those cells stop growing and dividing or slow down the process to reduce cancer growth. Cotellic is a brand name for the medication cobimetinib. This drug is often used along with another cancer medication called vemurafenib (Zelboraf), which also fights this specific type of melanoma.  Each of these medications is used to treat skin cancer that has either spread to other areas of the body, or that can’t be removed through surgery.

This medication is also used in some patients with certain blood cancers. It’s used to treat histiocytic neoplasms.

Precautions and Warnings of Cotellic

If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to this medication, don’t take it. Some health conditions can be made worse by taking this medication. Some people with these conditions may still take this medication if it’s greatly needed. If you have any heart rhythm disorder, heart disease, kidney or liver disease, or other skin problems that aren’t related to your cancer, make sure your doctor knows about your condition. Also, tell your doctor if you have ever had eye problems, particularly retina problems. If you’ve had a muscle disorder or have a blood clotting problem like hemophilia, make sure your doctor knows about it.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, this medication can pose a danger to the baby. It’s not recommended to take this medication while you’re pregnant, and it’s believed that the baby could be harmed, though there are no studies that have been done on pregnant women taking Cotellic. It’s also thought that this medication can harm a baby who is being breastfed. It’s important to be off this medication for at least two weeks before you get pregnant or breastfeed. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, don’t handle this medication or breathe in any dust from it.

Using this medication can affect the patient’s fertility. This is true for both women and men. If either parent is taking Cotellic, it could make it harder to achieve pregnancy. It can cause infertility in some patients. While you take this medication, limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

This medication can cause you to have blurry vision. Before you drive or do anything else potentially dangerous, make sure that you know how this drug affects your eyes and assess whether it’s safe to drive.

Cotellic can cause more sun sensitivity. When you take this medication, limit your time in the sun, and don’t use tanning beds or UV lamps. When you go out, wear protective clothing and sunscreen to protect yourself. If you have a sunburn or get blisters, tell your doctor.

If you’re going to have surgery, even dental surgery, make sure your doctor knows that you take this medication and any other that you’re on. Talk to your doctor if you have any skin changes while taking Cotellic. Taking it raises your risk of developing other skin cancers, such as cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Tell your doctor immediately if you have a new skin sore, wort, or mole changes.

This medication can cause severe bleeding in areas like the bowels, stomach, or brain. If you have any unexplained bleeding, please don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. Cotellic can also cause problems with your heart. You may have tiredness and weakness, chest pain, dizziness, fainting, or changes to your heartbeat. Notify your doctor if these happen to you.

This medication can also cause a serious muscle problem called rhabdomyolysis. If this happens, you could have muscle cramps, dark urine, muscle pain, weakness, or muscle spasms. Patients can also develop a severe liver problem that can cause dark urine, weakness, less appetite, nausea, tenderness, or pain in the upper abdomen.

Cotellic Side Effects

This medication may cause many side effects, but many patients don’t get any. If you do, they may go away after you’ve been taking this medication for a few weeks.

It’s also possible for this medication to cause patients to have pain or sores in the throat or mouth. If this happens, be gentle when brushing your teeth and avoid using any mouthwash with alcohol. Eat soft and moist foods, and rinse out your mouth with water and baking soda.

This medication can also cause your blood pressure to rise. You’ll need to regularly check your blood pressure and contact your doctor if it gets too high.

Some of the common side effects of Cotellic include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Upset stomach
  • Tiredness
  • Rash, itching, or dry skin
  • Bumps on the upper back, scalp, face, or chest that look like acne
  • Swelling of the feet, arms, or legs
  • Fever
  • Urination pain and burning
  • Abnormal blood tests
  • More sun sensitivity
  • Lung problems
  • Bleeding gums
  • Decreased appetite

Drug Interactions With Cotellic

Certain types of medications can cause a drug interaction with Cotellic. Medications that are classified as azole antifungals can affect the way that Cotellic is removed from the body. These include Sporanox. Seizure drugs such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and carbamazepine (Tegretol) can also cause problems. Generally, doctors avoid using Cotellic with rifampin (Rifadin), efavirenz, and the herb St. John’s Wort. Ensure your doctor knows everything you take, including herbal supplements and vitamins.

Strengths and Dosages of Cotellic

This medication comes in tablet form and has a strength of 20 mg. The exact dosage that your doctor prescribes may consider the severity of your condition, the type of condition you have, and how well the medication works for you. Typically, patients are prescribed 60 mg of Cotellic each day. It is taken on a 28-day cycle to treat melanoma or histiocytic neoplasm. For melanoma, it’s generally prescribed to be taken from day one to day 21 of the cycle, with none taken from day 22 to 28. If you are taking it for histiocytic neoplasm, you can expect the same type of dosage.

FAQs of Cotellic

Can you drink alcohol while taking Cotellic?

Yes, patients can drink alcohol, but they’re encouraged to keep consumption low to avoid problems such as liver issues and worse side effects from the medication.

Is it ok to take Cotellic while pregnant?

In some cases, it may be unavoidable to take it during pregnancy. However, it isn’t recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers to take this medication in general. There is a risk of harm to the baby.

Is Cotellic ok to use along with Vemurafenib?

Yes, it’s often used along with this medication. While Cotellic is taken for three weeks a month, Vemurafenib is taken every day of the cycle.

Can I take Cotellic if I have kidney or liver problems?

There is a risk of these conditions becoming worse if you take this medication with either of these conditions. Your doctor will decide whether the benefits are worth your risks.

Is Cotellic an expensive drug?

Yes, this is a brand-name medication without a generic equivalent. This has kept the price of it high.

Why is Cotellic prescribed?

It’s used to treat certain types of skin cancer as well as histiocytic neoplasms, a type of blood cancer.

What are the alternatives to Cotellic?

Various medications, including Yervoy, Mektovi, and Vemurafenib, are used to treat melanoma. Your doctor will assess your condition and prescribe the right one for your specific cancer. Vemurafenib is often used along with Cotellic and taken during each day of the 28-day medication cycle.

What is the monthly cost of Cotellic in America?

This medication costs about $8,300 for a course of 63 tablets. This is a month of doses.

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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