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Targeted Therapy

Brand names:


Often used for:

Melanoma, Lung cancer

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What is Trametinib?

Trametinib (Mekinist®) is a type of medicine called a targeted therapy. This medicine is a MEK inhibitor. This medicine only works on cancer cells with a change or mutation in the MEK gene. Trametinib acts to block certain cell signals to help keep cells from growing. Before this medicine is given, patients will be tested to see if they have the BRAF V600 gene mutation.

Trametinib is used to treat melanoma and certain lung cancers. It is also being studied in other types of cancer. It may be used in combination with dabrafenib (Taflinar®).

Patients will have regular blood draws to check blood counts, glucose, and electrolyte levels in the blood and to monitor liver and kidney function. Patients will have regular skin and eye exams.

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Given as a tablet by mouth

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Possible Side Effects

  • Skin rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling, lymphedema
  • Dry skin, itching
  • Mouth sores
  • Acne
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nail changes
  • Eye problems
  • Lung problems
  • Bleeding
  • High blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia)
  • High blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) problems
  • Liver problems
  • Second skin cancers

Other problems may occur when trametinib is given in combination with dabrafenib.

Not all patients who take trametinib will experience these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Tips for Families

Be sure to discuss these and other recommendations with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Trametinib can increase risk of skin cancer. Let a doctor know about any sores, bumps, warts, or other skin changes.
  • Sexually active patients should take steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment and for 4 months after the last dose.
  • Trametinib may increase the side effects of dabrafenib (Taflinar®).
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Caregivers should follow instructions for safe handling and disposal of the medicine and avoid contact with patient body fluids.

Trametinib at Home:

  • Take trametinib at the same time each day.
  • Take on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
  • Store trametinib in the refrigerator. Protect from light.
  • If you miss a dose and the next dose is not due for at least 12 hours, take the missed dose right away. If the next dose is due in less than 12 hours, do not take the missed dose.
  • Caregivers should wear gloves when handling this medicine.
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.
  • Follow instructions for safe handling and safe disposal.