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Dasatinib – uses, health risks, and side effects at

Wednesday, September 05, 2018 by

Dasatinib is a cancer drug that can help slow the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. The drug is given to children and adult patients who have a type of blood cancer called Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

Dasatinib is also given to adult patients who have Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Both CML and ALL are types of cancer that affect the white blood cells.

Dasatinib is sold under the brand name Sprycel.

Known health risks or side effects of dasatinib

Dasatinib may cause common side effects such as:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain
  • Fatigue/feeling tired
  • A headache, muscle pain, pain in the hands or feet
  • A skin rash

You may require immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms, which indicate pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH):

  • Blue-colored lips and skin
  • Chest pain and feeling tired or short of breath (even with mild exertion)
  • A light-headed feeling like you’re about to faint
  • Swelling in the feet, lower legs, or midsection

Call a healthcare professional immediately if you have side effects like:

  • Chest pain, a fluttering in the chest or pounding heartbeats
  • Easy bruising, unusual bleeding (e.g., in the mouth, nose, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under the skin
  • Low blood cell counts (e.g., chills, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed, fever, flu-like symptoms, mouth sores, pale skin, skin sores, tiredness
  • Other signs of bleeding (e.g., bloody or tarry stools, bloody urine, confusion, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, a headache, problems with speech)
  • Pain when breathing, shortness of breath (especially when lying down)
  • Severe extreme tiredness, headaches, or joint or muscle pain
  • Severe ongoing diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Signs of tumor cell breakdown (e.g., feeling short of breath, muscle cramps, nausea, seizure, swelling, vomiting, weakness)
  • Swelling, rapid weight gain

List of organs that might be affected by dasatinib

An overdose of dasatinib may cause the following complications:

  • Chills, fever, sore throat, and/or other signs of infection
  • Confusion
  • Fast heartbeat
  • A headache
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding

An overdose of the drug can also cause an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction may include difficulty breathing; hives; or the swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, consult a healthcare professional. If your symptoms are severe, go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Food items or nutrients that have similar effects to dasatinib

The following foods or nutrients have similar effects to dasatinib, and they can help strengthen your immune system:

  • Broccoli – Broccoli is full of vitamins and minerals. This cruciferous vegetable contains vitamins A, C, and E, along with other antioxidants and fiber. However, it is better to eat broccoli after it’s cooked as little as possible, or even raw.
  • Citrus fruits – Citrus fruits contain vitamin C which can help strengthen the immune system. It is also believed that vitamin C can boost the production of white blood cells that help fight infections. Sources include clementines, grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, and tangerines.
  • Garlic Garlic can help reduce blood pressure and slow down the hardening of the arteries. It can also strengthen your immune system because it has allicin, compounds that contain sulfur.

Treatment and management options for the side effects of dasatinib

The following treatments and management options can help prevent the side effects associated with dasatinib:

  • “BRAT” dietIf you have diarrhea, follow the BRAT diet. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, apples, toast, which are bland and won’t aggravate the digestive system. These are also binding foods that can make stool firmer. Other foods that you can eat include apple juice, applesauce, and cooked cereal like farina (milled wheat).
  • Vitamin E – Vitamin E helps maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, and this can help prevent circulation problems that may cause dizziness. Sources include kiwis, nuts, seeds, spinach, and wheat germ.

Where to learn more


Dasatinib is a cancer drug that can help slow the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Dasatinib may cause common side effects such as diarrhea and dizziness.

An overdose of dasatinib may cause complications like confusion, a fast heartbeat, or an allergic reaction.

Broccoli, citrus fruits, and garlic have similar effects to dasatinib, and they can help strengthen your immune system.

The BRAT diet and vitamin E can help prevent the side effects associated with dasatinib like diarrhea and dizziness.

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