Imbruvica

(ibrutinib)

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Treats certain types of leukemias.

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Our bottom line

Imbruvica (ibrutinib) is better tolerated, but doesn't work as well as intensive chemotherapies.

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Quick facts about Imbruvica
  • Drug class: Cancer
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Upsides

  • Causes less side-effects than conventional chemotherapies.
  • Conveniently administered at home instead of infusion clinic.
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What to expect from Imbruvica, on one page

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Downsides

  • Available as an expensive, branded product only.
  • Less effective than intensive chemotherapis.
  • Not a good choice if you have liver problems.
  • Increases your risk for bleeding, especially if you're on aspirin or blood thinners.
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What to expect from Imbruvica, on one page

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How it works

Imbruvica (ibrutinib) is a Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor. It blocks signals responsible for the multiplication and survival of cancerous B-cells.

Quick facts about Imbruvica
  • Drug class: Cancer
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available
Tried Imbruvica? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Imbruvica (ibrutinib) for Chronic graft-versus-host-disease

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  • First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
    Long term
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
    Long term
  • Possible side effects
  • Fatigue
  • Bruising
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth sores
  • Nausea
  • Muscle spasm
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Side effect rates for Imbruvica (ibrutinib)

From 42 clinical trials of Imbruvica when taken for chronic graft-versus-host-disease
  • Fatigue
    56%56%
  • Bruising
    40%40%
  • Diarrhea
    36%36%
  • Mouth sores
    28%28%
  • Muscle spasm
    28%28%
  • Nausea
    26%26%
  • Bleeding
    26%26%
  • Pneumonia
    21%21%
  • Upper airway infection
    19%19%
  • Fever
    17%17%
  • Headache
    17%17%
  • Fall
    17%17%
  • Muscle pain
    14%14%
  • Cough
    14%14%
  • Swelling
    12%12%
  • Rash
    12%12%
  • Constipation
    12%12%
  • Shortness of breath
    12%12%
  • Low potassium
    12%12%
  • Life threatening infection
    10%10%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Imbruvica.

Imbruvica (ibrutinib)
Placebo

People taking Imbruvica felt side effect more

People taking Imbruvica felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Imbruvica (ibrutinib)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Taking antiplatelet or blood thinner medicines

    Imbruvica (ibrutinib) caused a bleeding episode in half of those taking the medicine. If you are scheduled to have surgery, you may need to hold taking Imbruvica (ibrutinib) for 3 to 7 days before and after the procedure. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of severe headache, blood in stools or urine, or bleeding that doesn't stop.

Common concerns from people taking Imbruvica (ibrutinib)

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Kidneys and liver
  • Not a good choice if you have liver problems.