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Brand names:


Other names:

SAHA, Suberoylanilide Hydroxamic Acid

Often used for:

Lymphoma, Leukemia, or Solid tumors

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What is Vorinostat?

Vorinostat is a type of chemotherapy. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cells.

Patients will have regular blood draws to check blood counts and blood glucose levels and to monitor liver and kidney function. Heart function may also be monitored.

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May be taken as a tablet by mouth

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May be taken as a liquid by mouth

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Possible Side Effects

  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in taste
  • Hair loss
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Muscle spasms
  • Symptoms of a common cold (runny nose, sneezing, nose and throat irritation)
  • Cough
  • Swelling of the hands, legs, or feet
  • Low blood counts (may cause increased risk of infection, bleeding, anemia, and/or fatigue)
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Shortness of breath
  • Itching
  • Increased blood sugar levels
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Heart problems
  • Blood clots
  • Fertility problems

Not all patients who take vorinostat 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.

  • Vorinostat may affect blood sugar levels. Patients should tell a doctor if they have or ever had diabetes.
  • While taking vorinostat, it is important to drink plenty of fluids. Patients should follow the care team’s instructions for appropriate fluid intake.
  • Sexually active patients should take steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment and for 6 months after completion of therapy.
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Caregivers should follow instructions for safe handling and disposal of chemotherapy and avoid contact with patient body fluids. Patient body fluids can contain the drug for 48 hours after it is given.

Drug at home:

  • Take medicine at the same time each day. Take with food.
  • Swallow capsules whole. Do not open, cut, crush, or chew capsules.
  • Caregivers should wear gloves when handling this medicine. If the medicine gets on your skin, wash the area right away. 
  • Store vorinostat at room temperature.
  • Give a missed dose as soon as possible. If it is within 12 hours of the time for the next dose, skip the dose. Do not give 2 doses at the same time.
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.
  • Follow instructions for safe handling and disposal.