Cancer Home > Nilotinib

Drug Interactions

Nilotinib may react with a number of other medicines (see Drug Interactions With Nilotinib).

What If I Overdose on This Medicine?

An overdose with this medication may cause low blood cell counts, nausea, and vomiting. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you or someone else may have overdosed on this or any other medication.
(Click Tasigna Overdose for more information.)

What If I Miss a Dose of Nilotinib?

If you miss your nilotinib dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses of this medication to make up for a missed dose.

How Does It Work?

Nilotinib works by blocking a protein in the body known as tyrosine kinase. Tyrosine kinase is responsible for telling leukemia cancer cells to grow and multiply. By blocking this protein, nilotinib slows down the progression of the disease.

When and How to Take This Medication

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with nilotinib include the following:
  • This medication comes in the form of a capsule. It is usually taken by mouth twice a day, about 12 hours apart.
  • Nilotinib should be taken on an empty stomach; do not eat for at least two hours before taking a dose and for at least one hour afterwards. Taking nilotinib with food may cause you to absorb too much medicine, which could increase your risk for serious side effects.
  • One possible way to accomplish this dosing regimen is to take one dose an hour before breakfast and the second dose an hour before dinner.
  • Nilotinib must be swallowed whole, with a large glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or cut the capsules.
  • Do not drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit while taking this medication.
  • If you are unable to swallow the capsules, you may open them and mix the contents with one teaspoon of applesauce. Eat the applesauce within 15 minutes of mixing.
  • Try to take your doses at the same time each day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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