Why is it prescribed?

Dacomitinib is used in adults to treat non- small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It is most commonly used when the cancer:

  • cannot be removed with surgery or has spread to other parts of the body.
  • has certain changes in the genes that produce a protein on the surface of the cells called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).


Products that have this ingredient include •Vizimpro™ tablets •

See other drugs used in the treatment of •non-small cell lung cancer •

The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients taking dacomitinib:

  • Skin rash
  • Bacterial or fungal nail infection (paronychia)
  • Dry skin
  • Low albumin
  • Low calcium
  • High blood glucose levels
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth sores
  • Decreased appetite
  • Anemia (low hemoglobin)
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Increased liver enzymes

These are less common side effects (occurring in 10-29%) for patients receiving dacomitinib:

  • Chest pain
  • Insomnia
  • Hair loss
  • Itching
  • Redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet
  • Low potassium, magnesium and sodium levels
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Limb pain
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Weakness/lack of energy
  • Inflammation or infection of the eyes
  • Increased serum creatinine
  • Cough, nasal signs and symptoms, difficulty breathing and upper respiratory tract infection


Dacomitinib belongs to a group of medicines called protein-tyrosine-kinase inhibitors. This means that it blocks the activity of a group of proteins called the HER family (including EGFR [epidermal growth factor receptor or HER1], HER2 [HER2], and HER4). These proteins are involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells, and can be affected by changes (mutations) in the genes that produce them. By blocking the activity of these proteins dacomitinib can inhibit growth and spread of cancer cells.

  • Before starting dacomitinib treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.). Do not take aspirin, products containing aspirin unless your doctor specifically permits this.
  • Administer dacomitinib at least 6 hours before or 10 hours after a histamine H2-receptor antagonists (e.g. famotidine, ranitidine)
  • Avoid proton pump inhibitors (e.g. omeprazole, pantoprazole, esomeprazole)
  • Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor’s approval while taking dacomitinib.
  • For both men and women: Use contraceptives, and do not conceive a child (get pregnant) while taking dacomitinib. Barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, are recommended during dacomitinib use and for up to 17 days after last dose of dacomitinib.
  • It is unknown if dacomitinib is present in breast milk. Breastfeeding is not recommended during dacomitinib use and for up 17 days after the last dose of dacomitinib.

Drug Interactions:
Avoid the following medications when taking Vizimpro:

  • pimozide and thioridazine, drugs used to manage psychosis
  • procainamide, a drug used to treat abnormal heart rhythms
  • proton-pump inhibitors (drugs that keep the stomach from making too much acid ) such as dexlanspoprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole and rabeprazole.

Use in pregnancy: Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. Dacomitinib use during pregnancy may cause fetal harm. Women who are pregnant or become pregnant must be advised of the potential hazard to the fetus. 

Use in breastfeeding: It is unknown if dacomitinib is present in breast milk. Breastfeeding is not recommended during dacomitinib use and for up 17 days after the last dose of dacomitinib.

Page Last Updated: 25/11/2015