Brand name: Verzenio
Chemical name: Abemaciclib
How it works: A kinase is a type of protein in the body that helps control cell division. Verzenio works by inhibiting the kinase and stopping cancer cells from dividing and growing.
Uses: Verzenio is used in combination with an aromatase inhibitor as the first hormonal therapy to treat advanced-stage or metastatic, hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Arimidex (chemical name: anastrozole), Aromasin (chemical name: exemestane), and Femara (chemical name: letrozole) are aromatase inhibitors.
Verzenio also is used in combination with Faslodex (chemical name: fulvestrant) to treat women diagnosed with hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative metastatic or advanced-stage breast cancer if the cancer grew after hormonal therapy treatment. Premenopausal and perimenopausal women who take Verzenio in combination with Faslodex also should be treated with a medicine to suppress ovarian function.
Verzenio is used alone to treat women and men diagnosed with hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative metastatic or advanced-stage breast cancer if the cancer grew after hormonal therapy treatment and earlier chemotherapy for metastatic disease.
How it’s given: Verzenio is a pill taken by mouth.
- low white blood cell counts (neutropenia and leukopenia)
- abdominal pain
- low red blood cell counts (anemia)
- decreased appetite
- low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia)
- severe lung inflammation
- hair thinning or loss (alopecia)
Read more about Verzenio.
- Verzenio (abemaciclib) prescribing information. Eli Lilly and Company. Indianapolis, IN. 2018. Available at: http://pi.lilly.com/us/verzenio-uspi.pdf (PDF)
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