Lynparza: Dosage, Side Effects, and Interactions

Research Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr Rabia Akram, MD Written by - Dr. Shaheen Shah


What is Lynparza?

Lynparza is the trade name of the prescription drug to treat specific types of cancers in adults viz; breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. The doctor might also advise Lynparza if a person has an abnormality in the breast cancer gene (BRCA positive gene). Any abnormality in the BRCA gene eventually leads to tumor formation. Lynparza is not a cure but a persistent treatment option to manage the disease from further progression and deterioration. The FDA (the Food and drug administration, United States) approved Lynparza in 2014. Lynparza is available only as a trade-name drug. It is not available in its generic form. A generic medication contains the exact ingredients as the trade name drug .1Introduction | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health

Lynparza is the trade name of the prescription drug to treat specific types of cancers in adults viz; breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.

The article will glimpse the Lynparza basics, dosage, uses, side- effects, precautions, interaction, and some alternatives to Lynparza.

Mode of action

How does Lynparza work?

  • Lynparza contains Olaparib as the active component. The active ingredient is the substance that makes the drug function.
  • Olaparib is from the drug collection called PARP (poly-ADP-ribose polymerase) inhibitors.
  • Pharmaceutical companies manufacture Olaparib from living organisms; hence, it is a biological drug.2Mode of Action | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health
  • In average individuals, the BRCA gene makes an enzyme called PARP (poly-ADP-ribose polymerase). Enzymes are natural substances in the body that help to hasten the body’s chemical reaction. The PARP helps restore the injured cells.
  • But in people with abnormality in the BRCA gene, the PARP protein (enzyme) can’t mend the damaged cells and causes uncontrolled tumor mass.
  • So, Lynparza works by inhibiting the PARP enzyme activity. Obstruction of the enzyme activity prevents the uncontrolled cell growth to stop proliferation and finally die, leading to lesser or no cancer cells in the body in some individuals.3Mode of Action | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health


Dosage Instructions

  • The doctor-prescribed dose of Lynparza depends on certain conditions, the severity of the illness, other drugs one takes, and the body’s response to the drug.
  • First, the physician will start with a minimal dose and then adjust it over time to give the quantity perfect for the patient.
  • Some of the standard dosages of Lynparza prescribed by doctors are listed below. However, always take the amount as the physician advises.

Dosage for Pancreatic cancer

  • 300 mg in a divided dose of 150mg twice or 100mg thrice daily or
  • 300mg twice daily

However, the doctor might recommend lower doses for people with kidney issues or severe side effects

Dosage for Breast cancer

  • 300mg in divided doses twice or thrice daily or
  • 300mg twice daily

Dosage for Ovarian cancer

  • 300 mg twice daily or
  • 300mg in a split dose

Dosage for Prostate cancer

  • 300mg in divided dose or
  • 300 mg twice daily.4Dosage | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health


Uses of Lynparza

The FDA has approved Lynparza to treat the following conditions in adults-

  • Metastatic prostate cancer (spread to other body parts) that doctors cannot treat with testosterone reducing drug, i.e., castration-resistant, have abnormal genes viz, homologous recombination repair gene, and has stopped responding to drugs such as Zytiga, Xtandi
  • Advanced-stage ovarian cancer that is BRCA positive even after treatment with two or three chemotherapy drugs and is HRD (homologous recombination deficiency)-positive. HRD positive is cancer that has an unusual BRCA gene
  • Recurrent ovarian cancers that wholly or partly respond to platinum-based cancer drug.
  • Breast cancer that has advanced to other body parts (metastatic), BRCA positive, is HER2 (a protein; human epidermal growth factor receptor-2)- negative and did not respond to past chemotherapy treatment
  • Pancreatic cancer that has spread to other body parts does not worsen after four months of platinum-based cancer therapy and is BRCA positive
  • BRCA positive means the body has abnormal breast cancer gene
  • HER2- negative means the body has normal levels of human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 protein
  • Lynparza works by obstructing the enzymes that help in abnormal cell proliferation, thereby destroying the tumor cells.5Uses | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health

Side Effects

Side Effects of Lynparza

Mild side effects

  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Lightheadedness
  • Changed taste in the mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty clearing bowels
  • Diarrhea (Watery stool)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin reddening
  • Respiratory infection
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anemia (lack of the body’s healthy red blood cells )

Serious side effects

Low levels of blood cell count viz; red blood cell, white blood cell, platelet


  • Tiredness
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Infections
  • Lightheadedness
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shortness of breath

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)


  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Unclear vision

Pneumonia (Lung infection)


  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble breathing

Blood clots viz; deep vein thrombosis


Blood disorders viz; Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)


  • Fever
  • Frequent infection
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Bone pain
  • Bleeding from gums and nose
  • Pale skin
  • Trouble breathing

Allergic reaction


  • Severe itching
  • Hives
  • Skin reddening
  • Swelling in lips, mouth, and throat
  • Shortness of breath.6Side Effects | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health


Available Formulations

Lynparza is available as an oral tablet that one can swallow. It comes in the following powers (strength)

  • 100 mg (milligrams)
  • 150 mg.7Formulations | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health


How is Lynparza taken?

  • One can swallow a Lynparza tablet with a glass of plain water
  • One can take the dose with or without food. However, take the amount the doctor prescribes, as taking the pill without food might not suit everyone

Missed dose

  • If one misses a dose, don’t take up the dose to make up for the missed one, as two doses together can lead to increased side effects. Instead, skip the missed dose and catch the next one on time.
  • Try the reminder app or medication timer on the phone to ensure one does not miss a dose.

Overdose toxicity

  • One must not take more than the doctor’s advised dose as it can cause severe adverse effects. However, dial the doctor immediately in case of an unintentional overdose or contact the American Poison Control Center.
  • Moreover, if one experiences shortness of breath, dial 911 or the emergency medical number based on the location or hurry to the nearby medical room


Storage & Disposal

  • The cost of Lynparza might depend on several conditions viz; location, insurance coverage, and the health store in use.
  • Individuals needing financial assistance in paying for Lynparza might visit the Access 360 program of the AstraZeneca (Lynparza’s manufacturer) website to avail the support options and eligibility.
  • One can keep the medication in a tightly closed vessel at 20 to 25 degrees centigrade temperatures.
  • Avoid keeping the medication under direct sun rays or damp places, viz; washroom.
  • Throw unused medication in a thrash to avoid casualties of pets and youngsters.
  • Also, one must dispose of any medication whose expiration date has passed.


Risks & Precautions

  • During Pregnancy – The doctor might not advise Lynparza for pregnant women or those trying to conceive. Research studies in animals have found that Lynparza might harm the fetus. So, the doctors recommend those planning to start a family remain on birth control for at least six months after ending the Lynparza treatment.
  • Nursing mothers – There is inadequate data to confirm if Lynparza passes through breast milk. But there is a possible risk for the breastfed child, so nursing mothers must avoid breastfeeding for around one month after the Lynparza treatment ends. 8Precautions | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health


Considerations before taking Lynparza

Lynparza might not be suitable for people with the following health issues.

  • People allergic to Lynparza or any other medication
  • People with low blood cell count
  • Respiratory (breathing) issues viz; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Lung problem
  • Kidney disease
  • Blood clotting disorder
  • Severe blood disorders (acute myeloid leukemia)
  • Pregnancy
  • Nursing mothers. 9Considerations | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health


Interaction of Drugs & Food with Lynparza

Lynparza might interact with the following medications –

  • Antibiotics (clarithromycin, ciprofloxacin)
  • Human immunodeficiency (HIV) drug (ritonavir)
  • Antifungal drug (Fluconazole, Ketoconazole)
  • Anti-seizure drug (Phenytoin, carbamazepine)
  • Antiviral drug (telaprevir)
  • High blood pressure medication (verapamil)
  • Central nervous system stimulant medication (modafinil)
  • Cancer medication (imatinib)

Lynparza might interact with certain foods-

  • Grapefruit
  • Seville oranges. 10Interactions | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health

Taking Lynparza with grapefruit or Seville oranges might increase the blood levels of the drug, thereby decreasing the efficiency and increasing the side effects.

However, Lynparza might also interact with other medications not mentioned in the list above. So, people should always speak to the doctor regarding any medicine, herbal drugs, supplements, or vitamins before taking the Lynparza treatment to avoid unwanted complexities.


Alternatives to Lynparza

There are also other drugs to treat similar conditions as Lynparza. Some may find it better than others. However, one interested in getting an alternative to Lynparza might speak to a physician to get the best fit.

Some examples of alternative drugs for pancreatic cancer

  • Eloxatin
  • Abraxane
  • Tarceva
  • Xeloda

Some examples of alternative medicines for prostate cancer

  • Zytiga
  • Jevtana
  • Rubraca
  • Xofigo

Some examples of alternative medications for ovarian cancer

  • Doxil
  • Avastin
  • Abraxane
  • Zejula

Some examples of alternative drugs to breast cancer

  • Halaven
  • Talzenna
  • Gemzar
  • Doxil. 11Alternatives | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

  • Lynparza is an FDA-approved prescription drug for managing specific adult cancers, such as breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.
  • People with medical diseases must tell the doctor before treating Lynparza to ward off probable complexities.
  • Lynparza has unfavorable effects, and overdose can cause serious complications. So, individuals must strictly follow the recommended dose of the physician.
Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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