Ibrutinib, or Imbruvica

Ibrutinib, or Imbruvica

This patient-friendly article is about chemotherapy drug, Ibrutinib or Imbruvica also known by its trade name Imbruvica. It was approved by the FDA in 2013 for treatment of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), small lymphocytic leukaemia (SLL), marginal zone lymphoma (MZL), Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia and previously treated chronic graft versus host disease. The medication is taken orally. 

The medication is used in targeted therapy because of its ability to inhibit Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK). Bruton’s tyrosine kinase is found in the B cells responsible for the signals that help B cells to live and multiply. The blockage of the BTK means that it stops the cancerous B cells from multiplying and slows the spreading down. 

Approved by

the Medical Board. 

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The recommended dosage for

- MCL and MZL is 560 mg once a day

- CLL and SLL is 420 mg 

Common side effects occurring in more than 20% of patients include thrombocytopenia, diarrhea, anemia, musculoskeletal pain, nausea and fatigue 



  • Haemorrhage (blood loss due to rupture of blood vessels)
  • Hypertension
  • Embryo-fetal toxicity
  • Cytopenias (reduced in certain types of blood cells)
  • Tumour lysis
  • Secondary cancers
  •  Infections

Go to: 10 ways to improve your chemotherapy success and reduce side-effects

Other articles that you may find interesting are:

  1. A diet for Chemotherapy
  2. Immunotherapy overview
  3. A to Z Guide to Complementary Therapies

Go to: Return to the CANCERactive drug list

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