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Sprycel may be prescribed if you are dealing with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and/or Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) and prior treatments were not tolerated well or were resistant. Your doctor or oncologist may explain that Sprycel is classed as a signal transduction inhibitor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor. This is not a cure for your cancer, but it can help reduce your symptoms that include night sweats, fever, unexplained weight loss, and pale skin.
Targeted therapy is not the same as standard chemo treatments that basically destroys any rapidly dividing cells, including healthy ones. Sprycel acts by blocking the signals passed from one molecule to another inside a cell which can interfere with a number of cell functions, including the cancer cell’s ability to multiply rapidly and take over other tissues.
CML usually happens during or after middle age and is a slowly progressing disease that causes your bone marrow to make too many blood stem cells that become abnormal granulocytes, these are also called leukemia cells that can crowd out healthy white and red blood cells and platelets in your blood and bone marrow. Around 95% of those with CML will also have the Ph chromosome, which is described as Ph+ CML. The Ph chromosome is to blame for producing an abnormal protein called BCR-ABL which causes the uncontrolled production of CML cells.
List all other medications you currently take or use, including herbal remedies and vitamin supplements, to be certain there will be no adverse effects that can occur when taken with Sprycel. You should not receive any vaccinations or immunizations without talking to your doctor first.
For women, take a pregnancy test before starting Sprycel as it poses a potential risk to a fetus. Both men and women taking Sprycel (Dasatinib) should use contraception to avoid a pregnancy, including an oral contraceptive and a condom is recommended. Change to formula for feeding your baby instead of breast feeding as Sprycel has been found in mother’s milk.
During treatment with Sprycel, your white blood cell count can drop and that may leave you at risk for being more vulnerable to infections. You should avoid areas with large numbers of people who may be sick with flu, fever, or cold. If you are scheduled for any dental or surgical procedures, inform the medical staff you are taking Sprycel.