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Talzenna (Talazoparib)

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An Overview:

Talzenna is a prescription brand-name medication used for the treatment of breast cancer with specific characteristics. These characteristics include:

Hormone receptor-positive or negative, i.e., the cancer cells might or might not have estrogen or progesterone receptors. 

They also treat mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes that increase the risk of having certain types of cancer called BRCA-positive cancer. 

Additionally, HER2-negative breast cancer, locally advanced disease, and metastatic disease come under control with it. 


Talzenna, containing Talazoparib, is used for targeted therapy. It aims to eliminate specific parts of cancer cells. Therefore, unlike chemotherapy, it does not affect all rapidly growing cells in your body.


It comes as capsules so that one can take it orally, once or twice a day. The stronger dose is 1 mg and the weaker 0.25mg.

The dosage depends on several factors like your body’s tolerance to the side effects, your kidney function, and any other drugs that may interact with the use of Talzenna. 

The recommended dosage for breast cancer is 1 mg. However, doctors consider several factors into consideration before fixing a dosage. To ensure that there are no adverse effects, you should set your dosage as per the advice of your doctor. 


A clinical study on people with BRCA-positive and HER2-negative breast cancer showed that people taking Talzenna had experienced their cancer not growing or spreading. In a comparative study between people taking Talzenna and those using chemotherapy solution, the inference was that more than 30% of cancer came down in 62.6% of people. 

Talzenna received approval in the year 2018, from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 

Side Effects:

Talzenna may cause certain side effects, some of which are common. It may also cause some severe side effects or allergic, in which case one should immediately call their doctor. 

The common side effects tend to last for a few days or weeks and include:

  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • hair loss
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • tiredness
  • feeling weak
  • loss of appetite

The serious side effects include:

  • anemia, i.e., low levels of red blood cells)
  • neutropenia, i.e., (low levels of certain white blood cells)
  • thrombocytopenia, i.e., (low levels of platelets)
  • myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myeloid leukemia, i.e., (cancer in your blood or bone marrow)
  • severe allergic reaction 

Certain allergic reactions that may occur are:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth and redness in your skin)
  • swelling in parts of your body, including limbs, eyelids, etc.
  • swelling of tongue, mouth, or throat
  • breathing troubles

One should immediately rush to the doctor in case of any severe condition. 

One of the most commonly reported side effects were hair loss due to alopecia. In a particular study, 25% of the patients suffered from hair loss. However, in most cases, such hair loss was less than 50% and not very easily noticeable. Further, such hair loss, as in most cancer cases, is generally temporary. 

Application to Other Forms of Cancer:

Certain phase III clinical trials are conducting a study on Talzenna. For instance, it is also good for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer as a complementary drug to Xtandi, also known as enzalutamide. Similarly, it is useful for treatment in studies aimed at treating other forms of cancer in the lungs, ovaries, etc. However, it is for treating different types of cancer in combination with primary drugs used to treat those kinds of cancer. 

Interaction with Other Substances and Drugs:

Alcohol: Although there are no known reactions that Talzenna has with alcohol, it may increase the chances of certain side effects caused by the consumption of considerable amounts of alcohol. Headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue are some of the common side effects. 

Other drugs: Certain other drugs may interact with Talzenna and cause side effects. These include certain blood pressure or heart rate medication like amiodarone, carvedilol, verapamil, diltiazem, and felodipine. 

Practices of the Medicine:

Talzenna should be taken daily around the same time as per your doctor’s or healthcare provider’s instructions. It may be ingested with food or on an empty stomach. The pill should be taken whole and not crushed to ensure that the right amount of drug goes into your body at the right time. 


Whether Talzenna is the same as another form of chemotherapy?

No. Talzenna is quite different from chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs try to stop all rapidly growing cells such as cancer cells. However, Talzenna targets only specific cancer cells, and not all fall growing healthy cells. Thus, they don’t interfere with the non-cancerous cells. 

Whether Talzenna is useful in cases where the patient has undergone a mastectomy?

Yes. Talzenna may be prescribed after a mastectomy if the doctor feels a requirement or need for it. The doctor can alter the prescription to treat other forms of cancer. 

Is Talzenna ideal for treating males as well?

Yes. In a study, 1.6% of Talzenna users in that study were males. It may, thus, work equally well for treating cancer in both males and females. 


Talzenna should be subject to medical history. It can come in handy in certain cases but may not work in some cases. For instance, Talzenna may interfere with certain cases of users who have been suffering from blood disorders. The drug may cause the levels of essential constituents of blood, like platelets, RBCs, WBCs, etc. to decrease. The existence of certain blood disorders may make the users more vulnerable to the severe side effects of Talzenna, including anemia, etc. These disorders in the blood may be an indication of underlying diseases like different forms of cancer in the blood. In the case of low levels of blood cells, the person should achieve normal levels with the help of the doctor before starting treatment. 


An overdose of Talzenna may cause serious side effects or make existing side effects worse. The symptoms of overdose include diarrhea, lack of energy, throwing up, a decrease in appetite, headache, and nausea. In any case of an overdose, a consultation from a medical professional or your doctor is a must. One may contact the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or seek help or guidance from them online. However, in cases of symptoms that are serious, one should immediately call the hospital or visit an emergency room. 


The ideal room temperature for storing Talzenna is between 68°F and 77°F/20°C to 25⁰C). It should not come in direct contact with the light. Any damp or wet places should is not good for storage. 

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