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Home > Wellness > Health Library > Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs)
A tyrosine kinase inhibitor (say "TY-ruh-seen KY-nays in-HIH-bih-ter") is used in cancer treatment as targeted therapy.
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are medicines that block signals that tell a cell to grow and divide. This can slow or stop cancer cells from growing. In some cases it can cause the cells to die.
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are medicines used to treat cancers such as chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and some kinds of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors are effective medicines for
the treatment of some cancers, such as chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).
Side effects of tyrosine kinase inhibitors are generally
mild and can include:
But some TKIs, such as sunitinib, may cause serious liver problems, including liver failure.
Taking dasatinib may increase your risk for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a rare but serious heart problem.
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors may cause
depression in some people. If you have symptoms of
depression or thoughts of suicide while you are taking it, talk to your doctor
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects.
(Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Each of the TKIs have specific ways they need to be taken, so talk with your doctor about how to take your medicine.
If imatinib or dasatinib does not work for you, your doctor may treat you with nilotinib.
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors should be used only under
the supervision of a
medical oncologist or
hematologist. He or she will monitor your blood counts
You may not be able to become pregnant or father a
child after taking this drug. Talk about this with your doctor before starting
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors can cause birth defects. Do not use this drug
if you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant or to father a child while you
are taking it. Do not breast-feed while you are taking this drug.
These medicines can interact with many other drugs. Be sure that your doctor
knows all the prescription and
over-the-counter drugs you are taking.
your tyrosine kinase inhibitor becomes less effective over time, your doctor may increase your dose,
prescribe it along with another drug, or try other drugs to treat your
Do not take tyrosine kinase inhibitors with grapefruit juice. Grapefruit
juice can make these medicines useless.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
November 8, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Matthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology
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