Uses of Belzutifan
In 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved a drug for the treatment of kidney cancer manufactured by Merck. The drug, called Belzutifan, is a hopeful step forward for patients with hereditary kidney cancers.
1. What is Belzutifan?
Belzutifan is an hypoxic factor 2 alpha (HIF-2α) inhibitor used to treat Von Hippel-Lindau disease (a rare inherited neurological disorder characterized by benign and malignant tumors). in multiple agencies). In Von Hippel-Lindau disease, the patient's body overproduces the HIF-2α factor leading to an increased risk of cancer cell growth and development. Belzutifan works by targeting HIF-2α, which is essential for kidney cancer formation but is indispensable for normal processes. Therefore, Belzutifan specifically neutralizes cancer cells only while the drug bypasses normal cells.
What does Belzutifan do? Belzutifan is currently the most well tolerated renal cancer drug, suitable for patients with familial renal cancer.
2. How to take Belzutifan
Belzutifan is available as a tablet to be taken orally, with or without food. When using Belzutifan, it is necessary to swallow whole, do not break, crush or chew Belzutifan. Belzutifan is usually taken once a day. If you miss a dose of Belzutifan, take it as soon as possible that day, then take your next dose of Belzutifan at the usual time of the next day. Do not take an extra dose of Belzutifan to make up for a missed dose, even if the patient vomits after taking Belzutifan with no additional dose.
It is necessary to ensure that the patient is taking the correct amount of Belzutifan each time. Before each dose of Belzutifan check that what the patient is taking matches what has been prescribed.
Belzutifan may be affected by some medications, so inform your doctor about all medications and supplements the patient is taking. Belzutifan can also affect the effectiveness of hormonal birth control (birth control pills, IUDs, injections, vaginal rings, and skin patches), so patients should use contraception. non-hormonal pregnancy (condom, diaphragm, sponge, cooper IUD, cervical cap) to prevent pregnancy during treatment with Belzutifan and for 1 week after the last dose of Belzutifan.
Store Belzutifan in its original packaging, at room temperature and in a dry place, do not store in the medicine box, keep Belzutifan out of reach of children and pets.
3. Possible side effects of Belzutifan
Some of the most common or important side effects of Belzutifan :
3.1. Belzutifan causes anemia The patient's red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to the tissues in the body, when this number is low, the patient may feel tired or weak, even feel short of breath or chest pain. If the red blood cell count is too low while taking Belzutifan, the patient may receive a blood transfusion.
3.2. Fatigue when taking Belzutifan Fatigue is very common during cancer treatment, patients often feel exhausted, this condition does not improve with rest. During cancer treatment and for some time afterward, patients may need to adjust their daily routine to manage fatigue. Plan a schedule to rest during the day and save energy for other more important activities. Exercise can also help you fight fatigue.
3.3. Belzutifan Side Effects Headaches Your doctor may recommend medications and other strategies to help patients relieve pain during treatment with Belzutifan.
3.4. Nausea, vomiting Talk to your doctor to get a prescription to help you control nausea and vomiting. In addition, dietary changes may be helpful in the case of this side effect of Belzutifan. Patients should avoid things that may worsen symptoms, such as solid or greasy/fatty foods, spices, or acids (lemon, tomatoes, oranges). You can try using salt water or ginger beer to ease the symptoms. Notify the treating physician if the patient cannot continue the infusion for more than 12 hours or if the patient feels light-headed or dizzy at any time.
3.5. Visual changes Belzutifan medicine can cause blurred vision, retinal detachment, central retinal vein occlusion, the doctor should be informed immediately if the patient has changes in his vision.
3.6. Other important but less common side effects of Belzutifan Hypoxia: When a patient's blood oxygen level (also known as oxygen saturation) is too low called hypoxia, Belzutifan can cause a condition Hypoxia was measured with a pulsed oxygen reader on the patient's finger before and during Belzutifan treatment. Tell the doctor if the patient feels short of breath or feels dizzy or light-headed. Kidney problems: Belzutifan can cause kidney problems, including increased creatinine levels as a result of blood tests. If you notice a decrease in urine output, blood in your urine, swelling in your ankles, or loss of appetite, report it to your oncologist immediately. High blood sugar: Belzutifan may increase blood sugar in patients with and without diabetes, so the patient's blood sugar should be monitored. If the patient has a sudden increase in thirst, urination or hunger, blurred vision, headache, or the patient's breath has a fruity odor, notify the treating physician immediately.
3.7. Effects of Belzutifan on Reproductive Health Exposure of the fetus to Belzutifan can cause birth defects, so patients should not become pregnant or father a child while taking Belzutifan. Effective non-hormonal contraception (condom, diaphragm, copper IUD, cervical cap, and sponge) is essential during Belzutifan treatment and for at least 1 week after treatment. Belzutifan . It is advisable to consult your doctor before breast-feeding while taking Belzutifan.
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Reference source: oncolink.org