Retevmo is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s FDA-approved to treat specific cancers that are caused by certain genetic changes to the RET gene.

Retevmo is used in:

  • Adults with a specific type of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). “Metastatic” means the cancer has spread to many other areas of the body outside of where it started (the lungs in this case).
  • Adults and children ages 12 years and older with a specific type of advanced or metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). “Advanced” means the cancer has spread to at least one other area of the body outside of the thyroid.
  • Adults and children ages 12 years and older with a specific type of advanced or metastatic thyroid cancer.

For more information on who can take Retevmo, see the “Retevmo uses” section below.

Drug details

Retevmo contains the active drug selpercatinib. It belongs to a group of drugs called RET inhibitors. Retevmo works by targeting certain proteins on the RET gene in cancer cells to prevent these cells from growing. For more information, see the “How Retevmo works” section below.

Retevmo comes as a capsule that you swallow. It comes in two strengths: 40 milligrams (mg) and 80 mg.

FDA approval

In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Retevmo to treat specific cancers that are caused by certain genetic changes to the RET gene.

The FDA gave Retevmo accelerated approval. This means the drug was approved for use based on information from early clinical trials.

Usually, the FDA approves drugs only after thorough clinical trials are completed. But for some drugs, such as Retevmo, the FDA can give early approval before all studies are finished. This accelerated approval is usually reserved for drugs that treat conditions without many treatment options, such as certain cancers.

After more studies of Retevmo have been completed, the FDA will decide whether to grant the drug full approval.

Orphan drug status

Retevmo received orphan drug status from the FDA. This status is typically given to drugs that treat rare conditions. It’s meant to encourage more research into conditions that don’t have many treatment options, such as certain cancers.

Pharmaceutical companies can request orphan drug status from the FDA. But they still have to conduct clinical trials to prove the drug is safe and effective.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Retevmo, see the “Retevmo uses” section below.

Retevmo is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in generic form.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

As with all medications, the cost of Retevmo can vary. To find current prices for Retevmo in your area, check out GoodRx.com.


The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of Retevmo. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or your insurance company.

It’s important to note that you might have to get Retevmo at a specialty pharmacy. This type of pharmacy is authorized to carry specialty medications. These are drugs that may be expensive or may require help from healthcare providers to be used safely and effectively.

Before approving coverage for Retevmo, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Retevmo, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Retevmo, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Eli Lilly and Company, the manufacturer of Retevmo, offers a savings card that can help lower the cost of its drug. The manufacturer also provides a support program that can help you understand your insurance coverage of Retevmo.

For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, visit the manufacturer’s website. You can also call the Lilly Oncology Support Center at 866-472-8663.

Generic version

Retevmo isn’t available in a generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

The Retevmo dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • your body weight
  • side effects you may experience
  • other medications you take
  • other medical conditions you may have

Typically, your doctor will start you on the recommended dosage for treating your condition. Then they’ll monitor your condition over time to decide if you need to keep taking the drug. Ultimately, your doctor will prescribe Retevmo for the shortest amount of time needed to treat your condition while keeping your risk for side effects low. (For more information about possible side effects, see the “Retevmo side effects” section below.)

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Retevmo comes as a capsule that you swallow. It has two strengths: 40 milligrams (mg) and 80 mg.

Dosage for adults with non-small cell lung cancer

Retevmo is approved to treat a specific type of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer* in adults. “Metastatic” means the cancer has spread to many other areas of the body outside of the lungs.

The recommended dosage of Retevmo for this use depends on a person’s weight in kilograms (kg):

  • For adults who weigh less than 50 kg (110 pounds), the typical dosage is 120 mg twice per day.
  • For adults who weigh 50 kg or more, the typical dosage is 160 mg twice per day.

Each dose should be taken about 12 hours apart.

Your doctor may prescribe a different dosage depending on several factors, including whether you have liver disease. If you have questions about the dosage that is right for you, talk with your doctor.

* The cancer must be caused by certain genetic changes to the RET gene. For more information on who can take Retevmo, see the “Retevmo uses” section below.

Dosage for adults with certain thyroid cancers

Retevmo is approved to treat specific types of thyroid cancer in adults:*

“Advanced” means the cancer has spread to at least one other area of the body outside of the thyroid. Here, “metastatic” means the cancer has spread to many other areas of the body outside of the thyroid.

The recommended dosage of Retevmo to treat these cancers depends on a person’s weight:

  • For people who weigh less than 50 kg (110 pounds), the typical dosage is 120 mg twice per day.
  • For people who weigh 50 kg or more, the typical dosage is 160 mg twice per day.

Each dose should be taken about 12 hours apart.

Your doctor may prescribe a different dosage depending on several factors, including whether you have liver disease. If you have questions about the dosage that is right for you, talk with your doctor.

* The cancer must be caused by certain genetic changes to the RET gene, among other factors. For more information on who can take Retevmo, see the “Retevmo uses” section below.

Children’s dosage

Retevmo is approved to treat specific types of thyroid cancer in children ages 12 years and older:*

The recommended dosage of Retevmo for children with these conditions is the same as it is for adults. For more information, see the “Dosage for adults with certain thyroid cancers” section just above.

* The cancer must be caused by certain genetic changes to the RET gene, among other factors. For more information on who can take Retevmo, see the “Retevmo uses” section below.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Retevmo, take your missed dose as soon as you remember. But if it’s within 6 hours of when you’re supposed to take your next dose, just skip the missed dose. Then take your next dose at its usual time.

Don’t take an extra dose of Retevmo to make up for your missed dose. This can raise your risk for side effects from the drug. (For more information, see the “Retevmo side effects” section below.)

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can work, too.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Retevmo is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Retevmo is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

Retevmo can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Retevmo. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Retevmo, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Retevmo, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Retevmo can include:

These side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Or they may continue throughout your treatment. If you have side effects that become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Retevmo. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view Retevmo’s patient information.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Retevmo aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you experience serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Side effects in children

Side effects for children taking Retevmo in clinical studies haven’t been specifically reported.

But based on animal studies, Retevmo may cause problems with bone growth in children whose bones are still growing. Examples of these problems include discolored teeth and misalignment of the teeth and gums. But animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you have questions about your child’s risk for side effects from Retevmo, talk with your child’s doctor.

Side effect details

Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Heart problems

Taking Retevmo may lead to certain heart problems, such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and long QT syndrome (a type of abnormal heart rhythm). To find out how often these side effects occurred in clinical studies, see Retevmo’s prescribing information.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure is a common side effect of Retevmo. You may not notice any symptoms of high blood pressure unless it’s severe.

Symptoms of severely high blood pressure can include:

Before you start taking Retevmo, your doctor will check your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, they’ll likely treat it before you start taking Retevmo.

About 1 week after you’ve started Retevmo, your doctor will check your blood pressure again. They’ll continue checking it at least monthly while you take the drug. To do this, they may have you come to their office, or they might have you check your blood pressure at home.

If you develop high blood pressure at any point during your Retevmo treatment, your doctor may temporarily stop the drug. Once your blood pressure is under control, they’ll likely have you start taking the drug again. Or they might switch you to a different treatment for your condition instead.

Abnormal heart rhythm

A type of abnormal heart rhythm called long QT syndrome can occur while taking Retevmo. This can lead to slower, faster, or irregular heartbeats.

Other symptoms of long QT syndrome can include:

Your doctor will monitor for signs of abnormal heart rhythm using several different tests. They’ll perform these tests before you start taking Retevmo and periodically during your treatment. Examples of these tests include:

Talk with your doctor about your risk for abnormal heart rhythm while taking Retevmo.

Bleeding

Retevmo can cause bleeding problems. In some cases, this bleeding can be severe and life threatening. To find out how often this occurred in clinical studies, see Retevmo’s prescribing information.

Symptoms of bleeding problems can include:

Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of bleeding problems. They’ll likely perform certain lab tests, such as checking your platelet count. Platelets are small blood cells that help your blood clot. So, if your platelet levels are low, this could be the cause of your bleeding problems.

If you have bleeding problems while taking Retevmo, your doctor may temporarily stop the drug until the bleeding has resolved. If your bleeding is severe, they’ll likely switch you to a different drug to treat your condition.

Liver problems

Taking Retevmo can lead to liver problems, such as high levels of liver transaminases (a type of liver enzyme). High levels of liver enzymes can suggest that your liver isn’t working correctly. To find out how often liver problems occurred in clinical studies, see Retevmo’s prescribing information.

Unless you have a more serious liver disease, you might not have symptoms of high liver enzymes. Symptoms of more serious liver disease can include:

Before you start taking Retevmo, your doctor will check your liver enzymes. They’ll also continue checking your enzyme levels periodically during treatment.

If you develop high liver enzyme levels at any point during your Retevmo treatment, your doctor may temporarily stop the drug. Once your enzymes decrease back to a regular level, you may take the drug again at a lower dose. If your liver problems are severe, your doctor may switch you to a different treatment for your condition.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Retevmo. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or discoloration in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Retevmo, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Retevmo to treat certain conditions. Retevmo may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Retevmo for non-small cell lung cancer

Retevmo is FDA-approved to treat a specific type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in adults.

Retevmo is used for NSCLC that is metastatic. This means the cancer has spread to many other areas of the body outside of the lungs.

For this purpose, the NSCLC must also have abnormal changes in the RET gene. Specifically, the NSCLC must be RET fusion-positive, meaning the RET gene must contain a certain fusion protein. (Fusion proteins result from proteins on the RET gene combining with genes from a different protein.)

Before starting Retevmo, your doctor will do a biopsy (remove a small sample of the tumor to test) to check the genetic makeup of your NSCLC. If your NSCLC is found to be RET fusion-positive, your doctor may recommend treatment with Retevmo.

Retevmo works by targeting cancer cells that have changes in the RET gene. The drug works by keeping these cancer cells from growing and spreading throughout your body.

Effectiveness for non-small cell lung cancer

Retevmo has been found effective for treating metastatic NSCLC that is RET fusion-positive. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend Retevmo as a preferred treatment for this type of metastatic NSCLC.

For information on how the drug performed in clinical studies, see Retevmo’s prescribing information.

Retevmo for certain thyroid cancers

Retevmo is FDA-approved to treat certain types of thyroid cancer in adults and children ages 12 years and older.

Specifically, Retevmo is used for:

  • Advanced or metastatic* medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), a rare type of thyroid cancer. For this purpose, Retevmo is prescribed for people who meet these criteria:
    • need a systemic therapy (a treatment that affects the whole body)
    • have MTC that is RET-mutant, meaning the makeup of the RET gene is abnormal
  • Advanced or metastatic* thyroid cancer. For this purpose, Retevmo is prescribed for people who meet these criteria:
    • need a systemic therapy
    • have thyroid cancer that didn’t improve after treatment with radioactive iodine therapy
    • have thyroid cancer that is RET fusion-positive, meaning proteins on the RET gene must be combined with genes from a different protein

Retevmo works by targeting cancer cells that have abnormal changes in the RET gene. The drug works by keeping these cancer cells from growing and spreading throughout your body.

* “Advanced” means the cancer has spread to at least one other area of the body outside of the thyroid. “Metastatic” means the cancer has spread to many other areas of the body outside of the thyroid.

Effectiveness for certain thyroid cancers

Retevmo has been found effective for treating advanced or metastatic MTC that is RET-mutant. It’s also been found effective for treating advanced or metastatic thyroid cancer that is RET fusion-positive. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend Retevmo as a preferred treatment for these thyroid cancers.

To learn how the drug performed in clinical studies, see Retevmo’s prescribing information.

Retevmo and children

Retevmo is FDA-approved to treat certain thyroid cancers that have an abnormal RET gene in children ages 12 years and older. For more information, see the “Retevmo for certain thyroid cancers” section above.

To learn how well the drug worked for children in clinical studies, see Retevmo’s prescribing information.

There aren’t any known interactions between Retevmo and alcohol. If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about the amount that’s fine for you to drink while taking Retevmo.

Retevmo can interact with several other medications and certain foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Retevmo and other medications

Below are examples of medications that can interact with Retevmo. This section does not contain all drugs that may interact with Retevmo.

Before taking Retevmo, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Drugs that you shouldn’t take with Retevmo include:

  • Strong and moderate CYP3A inhibitors. These drugs prevent the CYP3A4 enzyme (a type of protein) from breaking down Retevmo in your body. This can raise your risk for side effects from Retevmo. Examples of strong and moderate CYP3A inhibitors include:
    • certain antacids, such as cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Strong and moderate CYP3A inducers. These drugs speed up the activity of the CYP3A4 enzyme, which can lower the amount of Retevmo in your body. These drugs can make Retevmo less effective for treating your condition. Examples of these drugs include:
    • certain antibiotics, such as rifampin (Rifadin)
  • Drugs that are broken down in the body by CYP2C8 and CYP3A. Retevmo can prevent CYP2C8 and CYP3A enzymes from breaking down other drugs in your body. This can raise your risk for side effects from the drugs that are broken down by these enzymes. Examples of drugs that are broken down in the body by CYP2C8 and CYP3A include:
    • certain thiazolidinediones, such as pioglitazone (Actos)
    • certain antidiarrheals, such as loperamide (Imodium)

Other drugs that could cause an interaction with Retevmo include:

  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). These medications are used to treat conditions such as heartburn and acid reflux. If you take Retevmo with PPIs on an empty stomach, these drugs can make Retevmo less effective. If you take Retevmo and PPIs, you should take your Retevmo doses with food. Examples of PPIs include:
  • Histamine-2 (H2) blockers. These medications are used to treat conditions such as heartburn and acid reflux. Taking Retevmo with H2 blockers can make Retevmo less effective. If you use this drug, you should take your Retevmo dose at least 2 hours before or 10 hours after taking the H2 blocker. Examples of these drugs include:
    • nizatidine (Axid AR)
  • Antacids. These drugs are used to treat conditions such as heartburn and acid reflux. Taking Retevmo with antacids can make Retevmo less effective. If you take Retevmo, you should take your dose at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking the antacid. Examples of these drugs include:
    • aluminum hydroxide/magnesium carbonate (Gaviscon)
    • aluminum hydroxide/magnesium hydroxide/simethicone (Mylanta)

Retevmo and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Retevmo. But St. John’s wort is known to have an effect on the CYP3A4 enzyme. This means it may interact with medications such as Retevmo.

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist before using St. John’s wort or any herbs and supplements while taking Retevmo.

Retevmo and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Retevmo. This includes grapefruit and grapefruit juice.

But you might need to avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking Retevmo. Grapefruit can prevent the breakdown of the drug in your body. This can raise your levels of Retevmo and increase your risk for side effects.

You can learn more about how grapefruit may interact with medication by reading this article. And if you have any questions about eating certain foods with Retevmo, talk with your doctor.

You should take Retevmo according to your doctor’s or healthcare provider’s instructions.

Retevmo comes as a capsule that you swallow. For more information on how to take Retevmo, visit the drug manufacturer’s website.

When to take

You’ll likely take Retevmo twice a day. Each dose should be taken about 12 hours apart. To help ensure you have a consistent amount of the drug in your body, try to take your doses at the same time each day.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can work, too.

Taking Retevmo with food

In most cases, you can take Retevmo with or without food.

But if you take Retevmo with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), you should take Retevmo with food. (PPIs are medications used to treat conditions such as heartburn and acid reflux.) For more information, see the “Retevmo interactions” section above.

Can Retevmo be crushed, split, or chewed?

No, you shouldn’t crush, split, or chew Retevmo. You should swallow the capsules whole.

Retevmo is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat specific lung and thyroid cancers. These cancers must be caused by certain abnormal changes in the RET gene. Whether a person can use Retevmo for treatment of either condition depends on additional factors. For more information on who can take Retevmo, see the “Retevmo uses” section above.

What happens in cancer

With cancer, cells in the body start to grow, divide, and spread without stopping. Normally, cells stop multiplying and will die when the body no longer needs them. But cancer cells continue to grow and spread even when these cells aren’t needed.

What the RET gene does

The RET gene is found normally throughout the body. But sometimes, a mutation (change) in the RET gene occurs. This can cause the gene to become overactive, which then encourages cells to multiply rapidly in the body. These rapidly growing cells can lead to cancer.

What Retevmo does

Retevmo works by targeting cancer cells that have changes in the RET gene. The drug keeps the RET gene from working, which prevents the cancer cells from growing.

For more information about how the drug works, visit the drug manufacturer’s website.

How long does it take to work?

Retevmo starts working right away to slow the growth of cancer. It may take several weeks for your tumors to stop growing or become smaller.

You won’t notice Retevmo working in your body. But your doctor will perform tests during your treatment to check if Retevmo is working for you.

Retevmo isn’t safe to take while pregnant. It’s known that Retevmo can cause harm to a fetus based on the way the drug works in the body. Animal studies have also shown harm to offspring born to pregnant animals taking the drug. But keep in mind that animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you’re able to become pregnant, your doctor will likely give you a pregnancy test before you begin Retevmo treatment.

If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, talk with your doctor before starting Retevmo. And tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking the drug.

Retevmo and fertility

It’s not known whether Retevmo can affect your fertility (the ability to conceive a child). This hasn’t been studied in humans.

Animal studies have shown Retevmo may affect fertility in both males and females. But animal studies don’t always predict what happens in humans.

If you and your partner are planning a pregnancy or have concerns about fertility, talk with your doctor before starting Retevmo treatment.

Retevmo isn’t safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Retevmo.

For more information about taking Retevmo during pregnancy, see the “Retevmo and pregnancy” section above.

For females using Retevmo

If you’re a female* who can become pregnant, you should use an effective form of birth control during Retevmo treatment. And you should continue to use birth control for at least 1 week after your last dose of the drug.

* Use of the terms “male” and “female” within this article refers to a person’s sex assigned at birth.

For males using Retevmo

If you’re a male* and your partner can become pregnant, you should use birth control (such as condoms) while taking Retevmo. You should also continue using birth control for at least 1 week after you complete treatment.

* Use of the terms “male” and “female” within this article refers to a person’s sex assigned at birth.

It’s not known if Retevmo can pass into breast milk. Because of the potential for side effects in children who are breastfed, you shouldn’t breastfeed while taking Retevmo. You should wait until at least 1 week after your last dose to breastfeed.

If you’re breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on healthy ways to feed your child while taking Retevmo.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Retevmo.

Is Retevmo a chemotherapy drug?

No, Retevmo isn’t a chemotherapy drug.

Chemotherapy drugs work by killing all cells that grow rapidly. Because cancer cells tend to grow more quickly than healthy cells, these drugs are effective for treating cancer. But chemotherapy drugs can’t tell the difference between cancer cells and healthy cells. So healthy cells are usually harmed by chemotherapy, which leads to side effects from the drug.

Retevmo is a targeted therapy for cancer. Targeted therapies focus more on cancer cells and have less of an effect on healthy cells than chemotherapy.

Retevmo belongs to a group of drugs called RET inhibitors. The drug works by targeting certain proteins on the RET gene in cancer cells to prevent them from growing. For more information, see the “How Retevmo works” section above.

Can I take Retevmo if I’m going to have surgery?

If you’re going to have a planned surgery while taking Retevmo, you’ll likely have to stop the drug for a while. This is because Retevmo can cause surgical wounds (cuts or incisions made during surgery) to heal slowly.

If you plan to have surgery before or during your Retevmo treatment, talk with your doctor. They’ll likely have you stop taking Retevmo for at least 1 week before surgery. And they might stop your Retevmo treatment for at least 2 weeks after a major surgery. This will allow your wounds to heal. But don’t stop taking Retevmo unless your doctor says it’s safe to do so.

Will I need any tests before starting or while taking Retevmo?

Yes, you’ll need several different tests before and during Retevmo treatment.

Before starting Retevmo, your doctor will do a biopsy (remove a small sample of the tumor to test) to check your cancer’s genetic makeup. If your cancer shows changes in the RET gene, your doctor may recommend treatment with Retevmo.*

If you’re able to become pregnant, your doctor will likely give you a pregnancy test before you begin Retevmo treatment. This is because Retevmo isn’t safe to use during pregnancy.

Retevmo can cause or worsen several conditions. Your doctor will likely perform other tests before starting the drug and periodically during treatment to monitor for these conditions. (For more information, see the “Retevmo side effects” section above and the “Retevmo precautions” section below.)

Here are a few other tests your doctor may perform to check these conditions:

Also, periodically during treatment, your doctor will check to see if Retevmo is working to treat your condition. They’ll do this by performing imaging tests (such as a CT scan) to see if your cancer has stopped growing.

If you have questions about tests you’ll need before or during treatment with Retevmo, talk with your doctor.

* Retevmo is approved to treat only certain forms of non-small cell lung cancer and thyroid cancer. Whether a person can use Retevmo for treatment of either condition depends on additional factors. For more information on who can take Retevmo, see the “Retevmo uses” section above.

Before taking Retevmo, talk with your doctor about your health history. Retevmo may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Heart problems. Before starting Retevmo, tell your doctor if you have heart problems, such as uncontrolled hypertension and long QT syndrome. This drug can raise your blood pressure or cause an abnormal heart rhythm. So, if you have these conditions already, you’re at a higher risk for experiencing these side effects. Your doctor may prescribe you medication to treat your hypertension or long QT syndrome before you take Retevmo.
  • Surgery. Retevmo can slow your body’s ability to heal wounds. You shouldn’t use the drug for at least 1 week before having a planned surgery. And you shouldn’t use Retevmo for at least 2 weeks after a major surgery. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about having surgery while taking Retevmo.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Retevmo or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take Retevmo. Ask your doctor which other medications are better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. It isn’t safe to take Retevmo during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Retevmo and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. You shouldn’t breastfeed while taking Retevmo. For more information, see the “Retevmo and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Retevmo, see the “Retevmo side effects” section above.

Do not use more Retevmo than your doctor recommends. For some drugs, doing so may lead to unwanted side effects or overdose.

What to do in case you take too much Retevmo

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

When you get Retevmo from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good to use can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

Retevmo capsules should be stored at a room temperature of 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) in a tightly sealed container away from light. You can temporarily store the capsules at temperatures of 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C), such as when traveling. Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take Retevmo and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.