A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.
The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.
Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.
Tafinlar is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Tafinlar is used alone or in combination with another medicine called trametinib (Mekinist) to treat certain types of cancer in people who have a BRAF gene mutation. Tafinlar is for use in treating: • melanoma (skin cancer) that cannot be treated with surgery or has spread to other parts of the body, or to prevent melanoma from coming back after surgery; • non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body; or • advanced or metastatic thyroid cancer that has spread and for which there are no other treatment options.
Tafinlar is usually taken twice daily. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor will perform blood tests to make sure you have the correct tumor type to be treated with Tafinlar. Take this medicine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Tafinlar should be taken at evenly spaced intervals, about every 12 hours. Swallow the capsule whole and do not crush, chew, break, or open it. If you need surgery, dental work, or a medical procedure, tell the doctor you currently use dabrafenib. Your doctor will need to check your skin every 2 months while you are using Tafinlar, and for up to 6 months after your treatment ends. Your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). Use all your medications as directed and read all medication guides you receive. Do not change your dose or dosing schedule without your doctor's advice. Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
The active ingredient in Tafinlar is dabrafenib.
Using Tafinlar with trametinib may increase your risk of developing a certain type of skin cancer. Ask your doctor about your specific risk. Tell your doctor if you notice any new skin symptoms. Your healthcare provider should check your skin before you start taking Tafinlar, and every two months while taking this medicine to look for any new skin cancers. Your healthcare provider may continue to check your skin for six months after you stop taking Tafinlar.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Tafinlar: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Some side effects are more likely to occur if you take Tafinlar and trametinib together. Call your doctor at once if you have: • little or no urination; • fever, chills, feeling light-headed or short of breath; • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion or weakness; • eye pain or swelling, vision changes, seeing halos around lights, seeing color "dots" in your vision; • severe skin rash, skin pain or swelling, redness and peeling skin on your hands or feet; • increased thirst or urination; • signs of bleeding - weakness, dizziness, headache, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; or • signs of a heart problem - shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), pounding heartbeats, swelling in your feet or ankles. Your cancer treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects. Common Tafinlar side effects may include: • headache, muscle or joint pain; • bleeding; • fever, chills, tiredness; • dry skin, thickened skin, warts, rash; • swelling in the legs, arms, and face; • redness, swelling, peeling, or tenderness of hands or feet; • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite; • cough, shortness of breath; or • hair loss. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.