Cancer Home > Zolinza

People who have a type of cancer called cutaneous T-cell lymphoma may benefit from treatment with Zolinza. This prescription drug is approved specifically for use when the cancer has not improved or has returned after previous forms of chemotherapy. Side effects may include fatigue, diarrhea, and nausea. Zolinza comes as a capsule that is taken once daily with food.

What Is Zolinza?

Zolinza® (vorinostat) is a prescription medication approved to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a type of cancer of the immune system that affects the skin. It is approved for use when the cancer has not improved or has gotten worse, or when the cancer has come back after treatment with at least two other medications.
(Click Zolinza Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Zolinza is made by Patheon, Inc., for Merck Sharp and Dohme Corp.

How Does Zolinza Work?

Zolinza belongs to a class of medicines known as histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. The exact way it works to treat T-cell lymphoma is unknown. The medication interferes with important proteins involved in gene expression -- the process by which the information contained in genes is interpreted. It is thought that this drug helps to stop cancer cells from reproducing and causes cell death.

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Zolinza include the following:
  • This medication comes in the form of a capsule. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
  • You should take Zolinza with food.
  • Try to take your dose at about the same time each day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
  • Zolinza should be swallowed whole; do not open, crush, or chew the capsules.
  • Try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid each day to help prevent dehydration.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not stop taking Zolinza without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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