Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Anemia: Olaparib may cause low levels of red blood cells. If you experience symptoms of reduced red blood cell count (anemia) such as shortness of breath, feeling unusually tired, or pale skin, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Birth control: The effectiveness of hormonal birth control (birth control pill or monthly injections) may be reduced by olaparib. Additional forms of birth control are recommended while taking olaparib and for at least 1 month after stopping the medication.
Bleeding: This medication may cause a reduced number of platelets in the blood, which can make it difficult to stop cuts from bleeding. If you notice any signs of bleeding, such as frequent nosebleeds, unexplained bruising, or black and tarry stools, notify your doctor as soon as possible.
Drowsiness/dizziness:Olaparib may cause drowsiness or dizziness, affecting your ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing other potentially hazardous tasks until you have determined how you are affected by this medication.
Infection: As well as killing cancer cells, olaparib can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). If possible, avoid contact with people with contagious infections. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice signs of an infection, such as fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness.
Kidney function: Decreased kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have kidney problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Olaparib is not recommended for people with moderate or severe kidney impairment.
Liver function: Decreased liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Lung inflammation: Lung inflammation (pneumonitis) causing difficulty breathing has occurred on rare occasions in some people taking this medication. This can be serious and sometimes fatal. If you experience new or worsening shortness of breath or cough (with or without fever) at any time while you are taking olaparib, contact your doctor immediately.
Other cancers: Rarely, people who are using olaparib develop acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or other diseases where the bone marrow is not able to properly make blood cells. These illnesses can be life-threatening. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor.
Pregnancy: The safety of this medication when used by a woman during pregnancy has not been studied. Due to the potential for harm to the developing baby, olaparib should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if olaparib passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.