Generic Name: venetoclax

Pronunciation: N/A

Abbreviation: N/A

Other Market Name: N/A

Drug Class: Targeted Therapy Medications

Company: AbbVie-Genentech

Approval Status: Approved

Generic Version Available: No

Experimental Code: N/A

Drug Indication

Venclexta is a BCL-2 inhibitor approved for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) in previously treated patients, first-line treatment of CLL or SLL in combination with Gazyva (obinutuzumab) and acute myeloid leukemia in patients who can't use intensive chemotherapy.

General Info

Venclexta blocks the BCL-2 (B-cell lymphoma 2) regulatory protein, which interferes with the normal cell death cycle and allows uncontrolled cell growth. This protein is often present on cells that grow out of control in people with leukemia and lymphoma.

Clinical studies of people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia showed that Venclexta used alone or with other medications slows disease progression. In one Phase III trial, 85 percent of people treated with Veclexta plus Rituxan (rituxumab) were still alive without worsening of disease after two years. It can be used in people with or without chromosome 17p deletion.

Other studies showed that first-line Venclexta plus azacitidine, decitabine or low-dose cytarabine led to remission in patients who were age 75 or older or had conditions that prevented the use of intensive induction chemotherapy.


Dosing Info:

Venclexta is taken as a once-daily tablet with food. The dose should be ramped up slowly to avoid adverse reactions.

Side Effects

Common side effects include diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infections, fatigue, muscle and bone pain, swelling and cough. Venclexta can cause depletion of red blood cells (anemia), white blood cells (neutropenia) and platelets (thrombocytopenia), which can lead to infections and easy bleeding. The Venclexta label includes a warning about tumor lysis syndrome, a reaction that can occur when cancer cells die suddenly.

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Last Reviewed: October 19, 2020