Classification: Thrombopoietin Receptor Agonist
About: Avatrombopag (Doptelet®)
Avatrombopag is a thrombopoietin receptor agonist used to treat thromboctyopenia (low platelet count). It helps to increase the production of platelets in the bone marrow. This medication is used for patients with chronic liver disease who are having a procedure and for patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia. This drug sheet will focus on its use for chronic immune thrombocytopenia.
How to Take Avatrombopag
This medication comes in a tablet form to be taken by mouth and should be taken with food. If you have trouble swallowing your pill, talk with your pharmacist. Your dose and how often you take this medication will be determined by your platelet count. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If you miss a dose and its close to your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take 2 doses at once.
It is important to make sure you are taking the correct amount of medication every time. Before every dose, check that what you are taking matches what you have been prescribed.
You will have your platelet level checked often while taking this medication. Your provider will discuss these results with you and if you should change how you take this medication.
The blood levels of this medication can be affected by certain foods and medications, so they should be avoided. These include: itraconazole, fluconazole, rifampin, and verapamil, among others. If you are on enzalutamide, fluconazole, mifepristone, or rifampin the dose of avatrombopag may need to be adjusted to account for this interaction depending on how your platelet counts are. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you take.
Storage and Handling
Store your medication in the original, labeled container at room temperature and in a dry location (unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider or pharmacist). This medication should not be stored in a pillbox. Keep containers out of reach of children and pets.
Where do I get this medication?
This medication is available through select specialty and retail pharmacies. Your oncology team will work with your prescription drug plan to identify an in-network pharmacy for distribution of this medication.
This medication may be covered under your prescription drug plan. Patient assistance may be available to qualifying individuals depending upon prescription drug coverage. Co-pay cards, which reduce the patient co-pay responsibility for eligible commercially (non-government sponsored) insured patients, may also be available. Your care team can help you find these resources if they are available.
Possible Side Effects of Avatrombopag
There are a number of things you can do to manage the side effects of avatrombopag. Talk to your care team about these recommendations. They can help you decide what will work best for you. These are some of the most common or important side effects:
Fatigue is very common during cancer treatment and is an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion that is not usually relieved by rest. While on cancer treatment, and for a period after, you may need to adjust your schedule to manage fatigue. Plan times to rest during the day and conserve energy for more important activities. Exercise can help combat fatigue; a simple daily walk with a friend can help. Talk to your healthcare team for helpful tips on dealing with this side effect.
Your healthcare provider can recommend medications and other strategies to help relieve pain.
Less common, but important side effects can include:
- Thrombotic/Thromboembolic Issues: In rare cases, this medication can cause a thrombosis (clot) in a vein or artery leading to stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or deep vein thrombosis. If you have any signs of a blood clot such as sudden shortness of breath, new or worsening headache, confusion, chest pain, pain in your left arm, weakness in one side of your body, trouble speaking, loss of consciousness, new or worsening swelling in a limb, or pain/redness in a limb, call 911 or go to your closest emergency room.
Exposure of an unborn child to this medication could cause birth defects, so you should not become pregnant or father a child while on this medication. Effective birth control is necessary during treatment. Even if your menstrual cycle stops or you believe you are not producing sperm, you could still be fertile and conceive. You should not breastfeed while receiving this medication and for 2 weeks after the last dose.