Ibrance: see how the treatment for breast cancer works

The National Cancer Institute (INCA) estimates that 66,280 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Brazil in 2020.

Fortunately, there is a new drug on the market called Ibrance that treats this disease.

What is Ibrance?

Ibrance is a new drug indicated for the treatment of some types of breast cancer. Its form of presentation is in hard capsules.

Speaking of drugs, it is important to be aware of the drug interaction , which happens when one drug cancels or decreases the effectiveness of another.

Ibrance can interact with the following remedies used in the treatment of:

  • HIV / AIDS: Amprenavir, Atazanavir , Delavirdina, Fosamprenavir , Indinavir , Lopinavir , Nelfinavir, Nevirapine , Ritonavir , Saquinavir and Telaprevir ;
  • Hepatitis C: Boceprevir and Telaprevir ;
  • Bacterial infections: Clarithromycin , Erythromycin and Telithromycin;
  • Infections caused by fungi: Itraconazole , Ketoconazole , Miconazole , Posaconazole and Voriconazole ;
  • Angina: Diltiazem and Mibefradil;
  • Depression: Nefazodone;
  • Hyponatremia: Conivaptan;
  • Heart failure and alteration: Quinidine and Digoxin ;
  • Gout: Colchicine ;
  • High cholesterol: Pravastatin and Rosuvastatin ;
  • Arthritis: Sulfasalazine;
  • Anesthesia: alfentanil and Fentanyl ;
  • Organ transplantation: Ciclosporin , Everolimo , Tacrolimo and Sirolimo ;
  • Migraine: Dihydroergotamine and Ergotamine;
  • Schizophrenia: Pimozide ;
  • Diabetes: Metformin ;
  • Seizures and attacks: Carbamazepine , Felbamate, Phenobarbital , Phenytoin and Primidone ;
  • Tuberculosis: Rifabutin , Rifampin and Rifapentine;
  • Prostate cancer: Enzalutamide ;
  • Anxiety: Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort) .

Notify your doctor if you are using any of these substances.

In addition to drug interaction, it is also possible that there is food interaction (when a food can interfere with the action of the drug).

In the case of Ibrance, do not consume grapefruit or the juice of that same fruit.

Special cares

Although it is rare, breast cancer can also affect men. If this is your case and there is a prescription for Ibrance, it is recommended that there is a freeze of sperm, as this remedy can cause male infertility.

Regardless of gender, people should use contraception during treatment with Ibrance and up to 97 days after termination. This is to avoid a pregnancy with compromised reproductive cells.

Now, the alert is for breastfeeding mothers: it is not known whether Ibrance is excreted in breast milk or the possible damage that this may cause to the baby.

Therefore, it is recommended that you talk to the doctor about it and see if it is better to stop breastfeeding or use the drug.

In most cases, it is decided to use Ibrance and suspend lactation during treatment and for up to 3 weeks after termination.

Another important warning is for people with lactose intolerance: Ibrance has this type of sugar and, therefore, should be administered carefully in such cases.

Patients with an allergy to Palbocyclib or other substances in the formula should not take this medicine.

What is it for?

Ibrance is a drug indicated for the treatment of advanced or metastatic breast cancer HR (hormone receptor) positive and HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) negative.

In this case, it is treated together with endocrine therapy (with Anastrozole , Letrozole , Exemestane for postmenopausal women and with Fulvestranto in patients who have already received other types of treatment).

How does Palbocyclib active ingredient work?

Ibrance’s active ingredient is Palbocyclib. This substance is a kinase inhibitor (which is a protein) and acts to control cell growth.

In HR positive breast cancer (and in some other types), CDK 4 and 6 activity increases, allowing diseased cells to multiply.

Thus, by blocking these cells, Ibrance slows down the growth of these cancer cells.

The time for the medicine to reach the maximum concentration in the blood is 6 to 12 hours after ingestion of the capsule. The equilibrium stage of medication in the body is reached after 8 days of treatment.

How does the package insert indicate using Ibrance?

First of all, this medication must be used according to the medical prescription.

The indication for use of the package insert is according to a scheme known as 3 to 1, with a cycle of 28 days. But what does it mean?

It is very similar to some contraceptives. You should take 1 capsule (in most cases it is 125mg) per day for 21 days.

Then, 7 days go by without taking any dose of Ibrance and, thus, a 28-day cycle ends (21 with dose and 7 without dose).

Remember that Ibrance is for oral use and the capsule should not be broken, chewed or broken.

It can be taken at any time, along with food. The ideal is that, once the time of the dose has been chosen, try to follow that same choice.

For example, if the patient chose to take the 1st dose after breakfast, all the others in that cycle should be taken in the same period, preferably.

What if I miss a dose or throw up? Well, in these cases, the most recommended is to wait until the time of the next dose. Do not try to take too much to make up for the missed dose.

What are the side effects?

Like all medicines, taking Ibrance can cause side effects.

Although the safety of this drug is confirmed in the laboratory, this drug is classified as new and therefore may have unknown side effects.

In these cases, the ideal is always to talk to the doctor and notify the pharmacist through the Customer Service (SAC).

In order to list adverse reactions, the package leaflet is divided by the frequency with which they occur. Know more:

Very common

The very common reactions occur in more than 10% of patients who use this medication and they are:

  • Anemia;
  • Decrease in the amount of blood cells (platelets, neutrophils, leukocytes);
  • Motion sickness;
  • Vomiting;
  • Hair loss;
  • Tiredness;
  • Weakness;
  • Fever;
  • Decrease or loss of appetite;
  • Infections;
  • Stomatitis (inflammation in the mouth);
  • Rash on the skin.


Common side effects occur between 1% and 10% of patients treated with Ibrance:

  • Blurred vision;
  • Dry or watery eyes;
  • Changes in taste;
  • Bleeding from the nose;
  • Dry skin;
  • Pneumonia;
  • Abnormalities in liver function tests;
  • Decrease in blood cells accompanied by fever.

Price: what is the value of Ibrance?

The price of this medicine depends on the milligram of each capsule.

Below, there is a quote for boxes with 21 Ibrance capsules *. The research was carried out at Consulta Remédios in February 2020:

  • A box of Ibrance 75mg costs between R $ 17,200.00 and R $ 17,890.00;
  • A box of Ibrance 100mg has the cheapest price of R $ 17,240 and the most expensive R $ 17,250;
  • A box of Ibrance 125 mg can go from R $ 17,290 to R $ 17,990.00.

* Prices consulted in February 2020. Prices may change.

Is it approved by ANVISA?

Yes, Ibrance is approved throughout the Brazilian territory by the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA).

For bureaucratic reasons, ANVISA granted this authorization to 2 laboratories. Take it easy, that we will explain it properly.

The first pharmacist to have approval was Pfizer. Between the period of February 2018 and the same month of 2028, it can market Ibrance.

But that company was bought by another pharmaceutical company, Wyeth, which in 2019 had the right to sell Ibrance approved by ANVISA. This authorization is valid until 2023.

That is, until 2023, the 2 brands (from the same pharmaceutical group) are allowed to market the medicine and, therefore, it is possible to find small differences in the product’s label or package insert.

Are you in SUS?

Unfortunately, the Unified Health System (SUS) does not provide Ibrance.

If the patient does not have the financial means to pay for the treatment, a lawsuit can be filed for the State to provide the remedy.

For this, it is necessary the guidance of a professional of law, in addition to several documents such as a medical report that proves the need for Ibrance and a budget with at least 3 establishments that commercialize the drug.

How to budget?

In order to facilitate and streamline your judicial process, Consulta Remédios has developed an advisory program for high-cost medicines.

But how does it work? Just access the link , fill in the fields with your data and, within a short time, our team will send you a complete and personalized quote.

Ibrance is a new drug that is bringing more quality of life to patients who are struggling with some types of breast cancer.

It can have drug interactions with various substances and, therefore, it should always be used in accordance with medical advice. The Healthy Minute brings a lot of other information about medicines . Follow our posts.