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Skin Cancer Pill

The choice of treatment for basal cell carcinoma includes surgical removal of the affected area by excision, cryosurgery or radiation therapy. The contemporary method of treatment introduced is through the administration of skin cancer pills called as Erivedge approved by United States food and drug administration society. Erivedge pills are designed to treat advanced levels of basal cell carcinoma. This drug was designed to prevent surgical or radiation associated intervention in sensitive areas such as the nose regions of the face where the carcinoma predominantly occurs.


Erivedge the revolutionary pill for the treatment of advanced basal carcinoma is chemically known as vismodegib. This oral medicine is associated with the prevention of overactive signaling of the Hedgehog pathway by binding to a trans membrane protein occurring in basal cell carcinoma. The continuum of the Hedgehog pathway may result in the metastases of the carcinoma.

Vismodegib (erivedge) is highly permeable and has low aqueous solubility. The plasma protein binding in patients is very high. It binds to albumin and alpha- 1acid glycoprotein. The metabolic pathways associated are oxidation, glucouronidation and also pyridine ring cleavage. The excretion of the drug predominantly happens through the hepatic route. The absorption and retention of the drug occurs in feces and urine.

Dosage and administration

The recommended dosage of erivedge is 150mg taken orally once a day. The duration of medication has to continue until the complete prophylaxis of the disease. Discontinuation of erivedge is only advisable under the incidence of drug toxicity. Additional doses of erivedge are not recommended in case of missing a dose; the next dose has to be resumed. Erivedge intake does not depend upon food intake.

Contraindications and adverse effects

Erivedge is considered as teratogenic, embryo toxic and fetotoxic drug and hence it is not recommended for pregnant women. If administered, the effects include severe birth defects such as craniofacial anomalies, absent or fused digits and also open perineum. Erivedge is also not advisable for nursing mothers as it may be excreted in the milk.

Erivedge consuming patients are advised not to donate blood for a period of seven months. Many adverse effects were reported in the clinical trials conducted on erivedge some of which are muscle spasms, arthralgia, fatigue, diarrhea, weight loss, alopecia, constipation and also decreased appetite. Erivedge intervenes with other drugs such as clarithromycin etc. in leading to adverse reactions. Erivedge usage is not recommended in children as it intervenes in the epiphyseal growth plate affecting the bones; causing damage to the teeth by necrosis, cysts in the dental pulp and also ossification of the root canal.

Geriatric use of erivedge is also not recommended. The other conditions under which the use of erivedge is not recommended is in patients having hepatic and renal impairments.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: July 22, 2024