Erivedge works by inhibiting what is known as the hedgehog pathway, a pathway that is active in signaling skin cancer cell growth. This medicine blocks the hedgehog pathway by binding to a key protein in the pathway called the smoothened protein that activates other proteins involved in cell growth and survival. By binding to the smoothened protein, Erivedge prevents it from activating the other proteins, thus interfering with cancer cell growth and survival.
Is It Safe for Use in Children?
Erivedge is not approved for use in children, and has not been adequately studied in this age group. In animal studies, the drug caused bone and teeth problems when given to young rats. It is unknown whether similar problems would occur in children. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using Erivedge in children.
Can Older Adults Use Erivedge?
Erivedge can be used in older adults. However, clinical studies did not include enough older adults to determine if this age group responds differently to the medicine than younger age groups. In general, some older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine and may need to be monitored more carefully.
On occasion, healthcare providers may recommend medications for treating something other than the approved uses. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, there are no well-accepted off-label uses for Erivedge.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Erivedge [package insert]. South San Francisco, CA: Genentech USA, Inc.;2012 January.
Pfizer Press release. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) News Release. FDA approves new treatment for most common type of skin cancer. January 30, 2012. Available at http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm289545.htm.
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