Vorinostat is a prescription medication that is used to treat a form of cancer known as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. This drug is typically taken by mouth once per day, although alternate dosage instructions may be recommended by the prescribing physician. Some of the most common side effects of vorinostat include gastrointestinal disturbances, fatigue, and muscle pain. More serious side effects, which should be reported to a doctor right away, include difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, and abnormal bleeding or bruising. Specific questions or concerns about the use of vorinostat in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or pharmacist.
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a form of cancer that affects the skin. The lesions associated with this type of lymphoma often appear as red, flat, scaly patches which may migrate to various areas of the body. If left untreated, tumors may develop in the lungs, bone marrow, or other organs. Vorinostat may be prescribed alone or in combination with other chemotherapy drugs in an attempt to destroy the cancer cells or to slow the progression of the disease.
While some people may be able to take vorinostat without experiencing many negative side effects, chemotherapy drugs are very strong and do lead to the development of uncomfortable symptoms, especially nausea, fatigue, and muscle pain. Vorinostat should be taken with food in order to help the body properly absorb the medication and to help prevent severe gastrointestinal disturbances. If symptoms become severe, additional drugs may be prescribed to help keep the patient as comfortable as possible.
Dehydration is a possible complication of using medications such as vorinostat and usually stems from side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is important to drink at least eight glasses of water or other liquid each day to prevent this from occurring. Severe cases of dehydration may require the administration of intravenous fluids in a hospital setting.
Occasionally, vorinostat may cause severe or potentially life-threatening side effects such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, or allergic reactions. Unusual bleeding or easy bruising may also occur and should be reported to a doctor right away. Swelling of the hands or feet, confusion, and extreme drowsiness should also be evaluated by a medical professional. Other side effects are possible as well, so any new or bothersome symptoms that develop after beginning treatment with this medication should be reported to a member of the medical staff.