Facial Edema Associated with Dasatinib: Case Report with Successful Treatment

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Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice


Introduction: Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) are an effective treatment option for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The most common associated adverse effects of TKI include thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Facial edema is a rare adverse reaction that may cause significant psychological burden. Treatment is life-long in many cases therefore it is vital to have options available to manage these adverse effects.

Case report: We present a 70-year-old female with a medical history of CML, diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia who presented to our dermatology clinic for chief complaint of worsening edematous facial rash beginning after initiation of dasatinib. We were able to achieve significant improvement with a regimen that allowed her to remain on dasatinib.

Management and outcome: We treated the patient with a novel, unreported regimen of topical metronidazole 1% gel to be applied every morning and topical tacrolimus 0.1% ointment to be applied twice daily. She had significant improvement with the treatment and was continued on this topical regimen indefinitely.

Discussion: Previous reports of treatment options available for TKI-associated facial edema include topical and systemic corticosteroids, which can cause long-term side effects int the context of long-term TKI use. Our patient achieved an acceptable reduction in facial edema and rash with our combination regimen of metronidazole gel and tacrolimus ointment. We present the only such case of successful treatment of facial edema associated with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. We encourage future studies on the efficacy and safety of this regimen to treat this adverse effect.



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chronic myeloid leukemia, dasatinib, facial edema, rash, tyrosine kinase inhibitors