(RxWiki News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two new medications for cancer.
The first approval is for Tazverik (tazemetostat). The FDA approved this medication to treat adults and children 16 years old and older with epithelioid sarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer.
Tazemetostat is approved for those with the following:
- Advanced cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body)
- Locally advanced cancer (cancer that has grown outside the organ it started in)
This medication is approved for use in cases when the cancer cannot be surgically removed, the FDA noted.
Common side effects of Tazverik may include pain, feeling tired, nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite or constipation.
This new medication’s approval was granted to Epizyme Inc.
The second cancer medication the FDA recently approved is Ayvakit (avapritinib). This medication was approved to treat adults with a certain type of stomach cancer.
To be more specific, it treats gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). These are a type of tumor that forms in the gastrointestinal tract; the stomach and the small intestine are the most common places for GISTs to form.
Avapritinib was approved to treat cancer that can’t be removed with surgery or is “advanced,” which means it has spread to other parts of the body.
Common side effects of Ayvakit may include swelling, feeling tired, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation or stomach pain. Other side effects could affect the central nervous system: cognitive impairment, hallucinations, dizziness, or sleep and mood disorders.
This new medication’s approval was granted to Blueprint Medicines Corporation.
Neither of these newly approved medications can be taken during pregnancy because they may harm unborn children.
In fact, the FDA advised that both women who are able to become pregnant and men with a partner who can become pregnant should use effective contraception during treatment and for a certain period of time after the final dose (the time requirement will depend on the medication).
Speak with your doctor if you have any questions.
Written by Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS