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Tips for managing potential side effects

As with many medications, you may experience possible side effects while taking TAFINLAR + MEKINIST. Talk to your health care provider right away if you experience any side effects. Your health care provider may choose to modify, interrupt, or discontinue your dosage.

Tips for managing side effects

Tips for side effect management:

  • Keep track of your side effects, and inform your health care provider about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away

  • If you experience side effects, your health care provider may decide to adjust your dose or stop TAFINLAR and/or MEKINIST

  • Do not change your dose or stop TAFINLAR or MEKINIST unless your health care provider tells you to do so

Common side effects of TAFINLAR and MEKINIST in people with NSCLC include: 

  • Fever

  • Tiredness

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea (call your health care provider if you get severe diarrhea)

  • Dry skin

  • Decreased appetite

  • Rash

  • Swelling of the face, arms, and legs

  • Chills

  • Bleeding

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath


Taking TAFINLAR + MEKINIST may cause serious side effects, including:

  • New skin cancers, including cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, keratoacanthoma, basal cell carcinoma, or melanoma

  • Bleeding problems

  • Inflammation of the intestines, or tears (perforation) of the stomach or intestines

  • Blood clots

  • Heart problems, including heart failure

  • Eye problems

  • Lung or breathing problems

  • Fever

  • Serious skin reactions

  • Increased blood sugar (hyperglycemia)

  • New or worsening high blood pressure (hypertension)

  • Healthy red blood cells to break down too early in people with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency

  • May increase the risk of a type of overactivity of the immune system (hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis) that can cause fever, swollen glands, bruising, or skin rash

  • Fertility problems 

  • Low sperm counts

Fever icon

How your health care provider may help you manage fever:

Fever is a common side effect of TAFINLAR + MEKINIST combination therapy, but it may also be serious. When taking TAFINLAR + MEKINIST, fever may occur frequently or may be severe. In some cases, chills or shaking chills, too much fluid loss (called “dehydration”), low blood pressure, dizziness, or kidney problems can occur with the fever. As soon as you start feeling unusually warm or cold, check your temperature. Call your health care provider right away if you get a fever while taking TAFINLAR + MEKINIST. Your health care provider may temporarily or permanently stop your treatment, or change your dose of TAFINLAR with MEKINIST if you have fevers. Your health care provider will treat you as needed for your fever and any signs and symptoms of infection, and should check your kidney function during and after you have had severe fever.

  • Drink liquids (for example: water, soups, ice pops) to prevent dehydration

  • Get plenty of rest

  • Place a cold cloth on your forehead if you feel hot

  • Use over-the-counter anti-fever medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen as needed according to your health care provider’s instructions

Feeling unusually warm? Check your temperature. Call your health care provider.

What to do if you think you may have a fever on treatment
As soon as you start feeling unusually warm or cold, check your temperature. If your thermometer reads 100.4 ºF or higher, contact your health care provider. They may tell you to permanently stop or temporarily pause your treatment with TAFINLAR + MEKINIST at their discretion.

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Tips for managing fevers

This brochure contains helpful tips about how to prepare for and manage a fever.
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Tips your health care provider may suggest for managing other common side effects
Managing rash icon

Tips for managing rash:

Your health care provider may give you a range of recommendations, from limiting exposure to the sun to using a gentle, thick, alcohol-free emollient cream to soothe affected areas. In some cases these rashes and other skin reactions can be severe, and may need to be treated in a hospital.

Join aches icon

Tips for joint aches:

Your health care provider may suggest over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help relieve pain and swelling, along with icing and resting the affected area.

Diarrhea icon

Tips for diarrhea:

Your health care provider may recommend a specific diet plan along with an increase in fluids and a decrease in greasy food, spicy foods, or foods containing dairy. In serious cases, diarrhea could be a sign of perforations of the stomach or intestines that can lead to death.

Important Safety Information

TAFINLAR and MEKINIST may cause serious side effects, including:

Risk of new cancers. TAFINLAR, when used in combination with MEKINIST, may cause a type of skin cancer called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, keratoacanthoma, basal cell carcinoma, or melanoma. Talk with your health care provider about your risk for these cancers. Check your skin and tell your health care provider right away about any skin changes, including a new wart, skin sore, or reddish bump that bleeds or does not heal, or a change in size or color of a mole.

Your health care provider should check your skin before you start treatment, and every 2 months while on treatment, to look for any new skin cancers. Your health care provider should continue to check your skin for 6 months after you stop taking TAFINLAR and MEKINIST.

Approved Uses

TAFINLAR and MEKINIST are prescription medicines that can be used in combination to treat people with a type of skin cancer called melanoma:

  • that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic) or cannot be removed by surgery (unresectable), and

  • that has a certain type of abnormal “BRAF” (V600E or V600K mutation-positive) gene

TAFINLAR and MEKINIST are prescription medicines that can be used in combination to help prevent melanoma that has a certain type of abnormal “BRAF” gene from coming back after the cancer has been removed by surgery.

Click or scroll to see IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION AND APPROVED USES