What is Vorinostat and where it is used?
Vorinostat is in the class of medications called histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. This is used for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). CTCL is a kind of condition in which certain cells of the body’s lymph system called T-cells. It becomes cancerous and it affects the skin. This medicine helps kill or stop the growth of cancer cells.
How does Vorinostat work?
The ability of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells depends on its ability to halt cell division. Usually, the drugs work by damaging the RNA or DNA that tells the cell how to copy itself in the division. If the cells are unable to divide, they die. The faster the cells are dividing, the more likely it is that chemotherapy will kill the cell which causes the tumor to shrink. They also induce cell suicide. Chemotherapy drugs that affect cells only when they are dividing are called cell-cycle specific. Chemotherapy drugs that affect cells when they are at rest are called cell-cycle non-specific. The scheduling of chemotherapy is set based on the type of cells, the rate at which they divide, and the time at which a given drug is likely to be effective. This is why chemotherapy is typically given in cycles.
Vorinostat is a Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) Inhibitor. Histone Deacetylase is an enzyme that is normally present in the cells. In some cancer cells, there is an overexpression of HDACs. It is believed that inhibition of the HDAC activity causes cell cycle arrest and cell death.
How to use it?
Take this medication by mouth with food as directed by your doctor. Each dose is usually taken once a day. Swallow the medicine as a whole without chewing or crushing it. Do not use the capsule that is opened or crushed. If your skin or eyes come in contact with the powder inside the capsule, wash the area well with plenty of water.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response. To prevent dehydration while taking this medication, drink at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not increase or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve faster and the risk of serious side effects may be increased.
What are the side effects?
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Swelling in your lower legs
- Dry mouth
- Muscle pain
- Hair loss
- Altered sense of taste
- Cold symptoms such as sneezing, stuffy nose, and cough
- Before starting Vorinostat, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. Do not take aspirin or products containing aspirin unless your doctor specifically permits this.
- Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant before starting Vorinostat. This drug may be dangerous to the fetus. Women who are pregnant or become pregnant must be advised of the potential hazard to the fetus.
- Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor’s approval while taking Vorinostat.
- Do not breastfeed while taking Vorinostat.
- Do not conceive a child while taking Vorinostat. Discuss with your doctor when you may safely become pregnant or conceive a child after therapy.