Vizimpro (Dacomitinib) - Oral

What Is Vizimpro?

Vizimpro (dacomitinib) is a medication used to treat a type of lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It is known as a kinase inhibitor.

Vizimpro tablets are only used when the NSCLC is metastatic, which means it has spread to areas outside where it originally started. It must also have an epidermal growth factor (EGFR) mutation, an abnormal protein in the tumor tissue.

This treatment works by affecting the EGFR pathway. In NSCLC, EGFR mutations signal abnormal growth of lung cancer cells. By interfering with this pathway, Vizimpro inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

Vizimpro is available in tablet form to be taken by mouth.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Dacomitinib

Brand Name(s): Vizimpro

Drug Availability: Prescription

Administration Route: Oral

Therapeutic Classification: Kinase inhibitor

Available Generically: No

Controlled Substance: No

Active Ingredient: Dacomitinib

Dosage Form(s): Tablets

What Is Vizimpro Used For?

Vizimpro is approved for use in metastatic NSCLC with a mutation in EGFR exon 19 or exon 21 L858R. These mutations can be found using special testing called next-generation sequencing. This type of testing looks for genetic mutations in the DNA of the cancer cells. With this mutation, the EGFR pathways are abnormal and signal the cancer cells to grow uncontrollably.

If an EGFR exon 19 or exon 21 L858R mutation is found, Vizimpro can be used in first-line treatment. This would be the first medication used to treat that cancer. Vizimpro is not chemotherapy; it targets the EGFR pathway and interferes with one of the pathways that cancer cells use to grow.

How to Take Vizimpro 

Vizimpro is taken by mouth daily and can be taken with or without food. It should also be taken around the same time each day.

Since proton pump inhibitors interact with Vizimpro, people may take antacids or H2 blockers, also called H2 receptor agonists, as alternatives. Make sure to take your dose of Vizimpro at least six hours before or 10 hours after any antacids or H2 blockers to avoid interactions.

Storage

This medication should be stored in its original container. Do not store it in the bathroom.The pill bottle should be kept at room temperature (between 68 F and 77 F) and out of the reach of children and pets.

How Long Does Vizimpro Take to Work?

Vimprizo can start working not long after taking it. However, it may take a few weeks to months of taking it regularly to note improvement in lung cancer. Your oncologist will order imaging studies periodically to see how your cancer is responding.

What Are the Side Effects of Vizimpro?

This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your healthcare provider or a pharmacist. You may report side effects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects 

The most common side effects of Vimprizo include:

Severe Side Effects

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Diarrhea: This is a common side effect but has the potential of being severe, leading to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and hospitalization. 
  • Interstitial lung disease: This is a condition that can lead to breathing problems. The symptoms can include shortness of breath, cough, and fever. 
  • Severe skin reactions: Skin rash is a common side effect. However, sometimes severe skin lesions can develop. These lesions, especially when exposed to the sun, can lead to severe peeling, blistering, and pain. 

Report Side Effects

Vizimpro may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).


Dosage: How Much Vizimpro Should I Take?

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For non-small cell lung cancer:
      • Adults—45 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.


Missed Dose 

If a dose of Vizimpro is missed, the missed dose should be skipped. It should not be doubled up on. The next dose should be taken at the next scheduled time.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Vizimpro? 

If you take more than the prescribed dose of Vizimpro, notify your oncology team immediately. They may have specific instructions for you if you’ve taken too much. 

What Happens If I Overdose on Vizimpro?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Vizimpro, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Vizimpro, call 911 immediately.

Precautions

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control during treatment with this medicine and for at least 17 days after the last dose to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

This medicine may cause swelling of the lungs (pneumonitis) or interstitial lung disease. These are life-threatening conditions and require immediate medical attention. The symptoms may be similar to the symptoms from lung cancer. Check with your doctor right away if you have new or worsening cough, fever, or trouble breathing.

Cancer medicines can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these unwanted effects.

Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or a skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills with this medicine.

Apply moisturizer and avoid overexposing your skin to sunlight. Always use sunscreen or sun blocking lotions and wear protective clothing and hats while you are using this medicine.


What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Vizimpro?

Vizimpro should not be taken if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients. It should also not be taken by anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Other Medications Interact With Vizimpro?

Some medications should not be used along with Vizimpro. For example, using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may reduce how well Vizimpro works. Additionally, Vizimpro can increase the effects of drugs that are CYP2D6 substrates, which can lead to toxicity risks for certain medications.

Examples of medications that interact with Vizimpro include:

  • PPIs include Prilosec (omeprazole) and Nexium (esomeprazole), among others. Avoid taking these medications with Vizimpro. Some people may use antacids or H2 blockers as an alternative, although be sure to take your Vizimpro dose at least six hours before or 10 hours after taking these.
  • Thioridazine is a CYP2D6 substrate used to treat schizophrenia and psychosis. Vizimpro can increase the effects of this medication when taken together.
  • Ingrezza (valbenazine) is a CYP2D6 substrate used to treat tardive dyskinesia. You may need a lower dose of valbenazine if taking it with Vizimpro.

This is not a complete list of drugs that can interact with Vizimpro. Talk to your healthcare provider about your prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements to avoid potential interactions.

What Medications Are Similar?

Multiple EGFR medications have been approved to treat lung cancer. These work in a similar way to Vizimpro, but should not be taken together:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Vizimpro used for?

    Vizimpro is used as a first-line treatment for metastatic lung cancer with an EGFR mutation.

  • How does Vizimpro work?

    Vizimpro works by affecting the EGFR pathway to target a specific mutation in the EGFR gene that signals abnormal growth of lung cancer cells. By affecting this pathway, the lung cancer cells aren’t able to continue growing.

  • What drugs should not be taken with Vizimpro?

    Proton pump inhibitors should not be used with Vizimpro. Antacids and H2 blockers, such as Pepcid AC (famotidine), can be used as alternatives if you need them. However, Vizimpro must be taken at least six hours before or 10 hours after taking one of these medications.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Vizimpro?

Thanks to advances in medicine, newer and better treatments have provided additional options to people diagnosed with lung cancer. Still, a cancer diagnosis can be scary and overwhelming, especially when managing the symptoms and effects of treatment.

When taking Vizimpro, it's important to take it exactly as your oncology team prescribes. It is also important to communicate regularly with them to discuss any side effects. They can be an excellent resource for learning how to manage side effects. Your healthcare provider may prescribe additional medications or adjust the dosages of current ones if side effects become intolerable.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Food and Drug Administration. Vizimpro label.

  2. InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Dacomitinib (Vizimpro) for the treatment of advanced lung cancer: overview.

  3. Prescribers' Digital Reference. dacomitinib - drug summary.

  4. American Cancer Society. Targeted therapy for non-small cell lung cancer.

By Julie Scott, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCNP
Julie is an Adult Nurse Practitioner with oncology certification and a healthcare freelance writer with an interest in educating patients and the healthcare community.