Varinostat (Zolinza™)

Varinostat (Zolinza™) is a chemotherapeutic anti-neoplastic (anti-cancer) drug indicated for the treatment of recurring or progressive Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma specifically those with skin manifestations and has failed in other multiple systemic treatment options. It is also of interest in mesothelioma treatment and has been . On October 6, 2006, the FDA approved Varinostat for clinical use; it was approved under the orphan drug program which offers companies financial incentives to develop medications for diseases that affect less than 200,000 American patients each year.

Varinostat is a Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. HDAC inhibitors are emerging as a new class of anti cancer agent because it not only inhibits proliferation of cancer cells but also induce cancer cell death and differentiation.

Varinostat (Zolinza) comes in 100 mg. white gelatin capsules and should be taken with food. Common side effects include stomach and intestinal problems, tiredness, dizziness and headache among others. As with any drug, patients should consult their doctors as to any other medication they are taking before being prescribed with Varinostat (Zolinza). It is typically given once a day and should not be crushed, but swallowed whole. Patients taking Zolinza should maintain adequate rest and nutrition, they should also drink plenty of fluids, eat small meals frequently to avoid stomach upset and use a soft toothbrush when brushing to prevent bleeding gums as this is one of the adverse reactions of the drug.

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