Olaparib

Olaparib is used to treat advanced ovarian and breast cancer. This medication is intended for women with defective BRCA genes.

Olaparib Overview

Reviewed: December 19, 2014
Updated: 

Olaparib is a prescription medication used to treat women with advanced ovarian and breast cancer associated with defective BRCA genes, as detected by an FDA-approved test.

Olaparib is a poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor that blocks enzymes involved in repairing damaged DNA. Olaparib kills cancer cells.

This medication comes in capsule and tablet form and is taken 2 times a day. Do not chew, divide, or break olaparib capsules or tablets. Swallow the capsules or tablets whole.

Common side effects of olaparib include nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Olaparib can also cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how olaparib affects you.

Patient Ratings for

How was your experience with ?

First, a little about yourself

Tell us about yourself in a few words?

What tips would you provide a friend before taking ?

What are you taking for?

Choose one
  • Other

How long have you been taking it?

Choose one
  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

How well did work for you?

Did you experience many side effects while taking this drug?

How likely would you be to recommend to a friend?

Olaparib Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautions

Uses of Olaparib

Olaparib is a prescription medication used:

  • to treat women with advanced ovarian cancer that is associated with defective BRCA genes as detected by an FDA-approved test, and have already received treatment with 3 or more types of chemotherapy medicines.
  • as a maintenance treatment to treat women with ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, or primary peritoneal cancer, when cancer has come back. Lynparza is used after cancer has responded to treatment with platinum-based therapy. 
  • to treat advanced breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. This medication is specifically approved to treat a certain type of abnormal inherited BRCA gene, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer. 

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Olaparib Brand Names

Olaparib may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Olaparib Drug Class

Olaparib is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Olaparib

Serious side effects have been reported with olaparib. See the “Olaparib Precautions” section.

Common side effects of olaparib include:

  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • distorted taste
  • indigestion 
  • headache
  • decreased appetite
  • common cold-like symptoms 
  • cough
  • musculoskeletal pain
  • joint and muscle pain 
  • back pain
  • rash 
  • stomach pain

This is not a complete list of olaparib side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Olaparib Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

This is not a complete list of olaparib drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Olaparib Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with olaparib, including the following:

  • Bone marrow problems. These problems can include myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML). MDS is a condition where the bone marrow is unable to produce enough functioning blood cells and acute myeloid leukemia is a bone marrow cancer. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms:
    • weakness
    • weight loss
    • fever
    • frequent infections
    • blood in urine or stool
    • shortness or breath
    • feeling very tired
    • bruising or bleeding more easily than normal
  • Lung problems (pneumonitis). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms:
    • shortness of breath
    • fever
    • cough
    • wheezing
  • Harm to your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. 

Olaparib can also cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how olaparib affects you.

Do not take olaparib if you:

  • are allergic to olaparib or to any of its ingredients

Olaparib Food Interactions

Grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and Seville oranges (sometimes used in marmalade) may interact with olaparib and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products and Seville oranges with your doctor.

Inform MD

Before taking olaparib, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to olaparib or to any of its ingredients
  • have lung or breathing problems
  • have liver problems
  • have kidney problems
  • are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. This medication can harm your unborn and may cause loss of pregnancy. 
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if this medication passes into your breast milk

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Olaparib and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Based on the studies done in animals and the way this medication works, olaparib can cause harm to your unborn baby and can cause loss of pregnancy. 

If you are able to become pregnant, your healthcare provider may do a pregnancy test before you start treatment with olaparib.

It is recommended women who are able to become pregnant use effective birth control during treatment with olaparib and for 6 months after the last dose of olaparib. Talk to your healthcare provider about birth control methods that may be right for you.

It is recommended for men with partners who are pregnant or able to become pregnant use effective birth control during treatment with olaparib and for 3 months after the last dose of olaparib. It is recommended men do not donate sperm during treatment with olaparib and for 3 months after the final dose.

 

Olaparib and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if olaparib crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. 

Do not breastfeed during treatment with olaparib and for 1 month after receiving the last dose of olaparib. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby during this time.

Olaparib Usage

Take olaparib exactly as prescribed.

Olaparib comes in capsule and tablet form and is taken 2 times every day. (Each dose should be taken about 12 hours apart)

Do not chew, divide, or break olaparib capsules or tablets. Swallow capsules or tablets whole. 

Olaparib tablets and capsules are not the same. If your healthcare provider prescribes olaparib tablets, do not take olaparib capsules.

Olaparib may be taken with or without food. 

If you miss a dose of olaparib, take your next dose at your usual scheduled time. Do not take an extra dose to make up for a missed dose.

Olaparib Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • how you respond to this medication

The recommended dose of Lynparza (olaparib) tablets is 300 mg twice daily.

For those with kidney problems, the dose may be lowered. 

Olaparib Overdose

If you take too much olaparib, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If olaparib is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store olaparib at room temperature.
  • Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.