Zejula

Zejula treats specific types of ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal cancers after certain chemotherapy medications are used. If you miss a dose, do not take Zejula until your next scheduled dose.

Zejula Overview

Reviewed: March 28, 2017
Updated: 

Zejula is a prescription medication used to treat ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal (stomach lining) cancers. Zejula is used after chemotherapy medications have been used. 

Zejula belongs to a group of drugs called PARP inhibitors. These work by killing cancer cells. 

Zejula comes as a capsule and is taken once a day, with or without food, normally at bedtime. Do not chew or break Zejula capsules. Swallow capsules whole.

Common side effects include blood disorders, palpitations (racing heartbeat), and nausea.

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Zejula Cautionary Labels

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Uses of Zejula

Zejula is a prescription medication used for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in a complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy. 

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

Niraparib

For more information on this medication choose from the list of selections below.

Side Effects of Zejula

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

Common side effects of Zejula include:

  • blood disorders such as low platelets or low white blood cells
  • palpitations (racing heartbeat)
  • GI disorders such as nausea, constipation, vomiting, abdominal pain, decreased appetite
  • fatigue
  • back pain 
  • headache
  • dizziness

This is not a complete list of Zejula side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects that bother you or that do 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.

Zejula Interactions

No formal drug interaction studies have been performed by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Zejula Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Zejula including the following:

Increased Precancer/Cancer Risk. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer in the blood and is most commonly reported with Zejula. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor to help monitor risk. Stop taking Zejula if AML is confirmed.

Bone Marrow Suppression. A decrease in white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells may occur. Your doctor will need to conduct labs to monitor for this. Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following: 

  • shortness of breath
  • significant fatigue
  • bleeding
  • fever
  • signs of infection

If blood disorders do not return to normal within 28 days, stop taking Zejula.

Cardiovascular Effects. Hypertension or high blood pressure can occur. Monitor blood pressure and contact your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • severe chest pain
  • blurry vision
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea/vomiting

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity. Pregnant women should not take Zejula since it can harm or cause the baby's death. Women of reproductive age are recommended to use contraception during Zejula treatment and 6 months after the last dose. 

Zejula Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Zejula, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

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

  • are allergic to Zejula or any of it's ingredients
  • have or have ever had arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), high blood pressure, or heart disease
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

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

Zejula and Pregnancy

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

There are no well-controlled studies that have been done in pregnant animals and women since Zejula is likely to cause harm to the baby based on how it works. 

Zejula and Lactation

It is not known if Zejula 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. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Zejula.

Zejula Usage

Take Zejula exactly as prescribed.

Zejula comes as a capsule and is taken once daily with or without food. Do not chew or break Zejula capsules. Swallow capsules whole. 

If you miss a dose of Zejula, take your next dose at its regularly scheduled time. Do not take an extra dose to make up for the one you missed. If you throw up after you take your Zejula dose, do not take an additional dose.

Zejula Dosage

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

The recommended dose of Zejula for the treatment of ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal (stomach lining) cancer is 300 mg (3 capsules) once daily. You should never take more than 300 mg in one day. 

Zejula Overdose

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

Other Requirements

Store Zejula at room temperature. 

Keep Zejula and all medications out of the reach of children.