Toggle navigation
Toggle search

Olaparib (By mouth)

Olaparib (oh-LAP-a-rib)

Treats cancer, including breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, pancreas, and primary peritoneal cancer.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to olaparib, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Swallow the capsules and tablets whole. Do not crush, break, chew, open, or dissolve them. Do not take the capsules if they look damaged or are leaking.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep the tablets in their original container.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how olaparib works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Aprepitant, diltiazem, nefazodone, St John's wort, verapamil
    • Medicine to treat HIV/AIDS (including amprenavir, atazanavir, boceprevir, darunavir/ritonavir, efavirenz, etravirine, fosamprenavir, indinavir, lopinavir/ritonavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, telaprevir)
    • Medicine to treat infection (including ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nafcillin, posaconazole, rifampicin, telithromycin, voriconazole)
    • Medicine to treat seizures (including carbamazepine, phenytoin)
    • Other cancer medicines (including bosentan, crizotinib, imatinib, modafinil)
  • Do not eat grapefruit or Seville oranges, or drink grapefruit or Seville orange juice while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • This medicine may cause birth defects if either partner is using it during conception or pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant. Women should use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment with this medicine and for at least 6 months after the last dose. Male patients with female partners should use an effective form of birth control during treatment with the tablet form of this medicine and for 3 months after the last dose.
  • Do not breastfeed during treatment with this medicine and for 1 month after your last dose.
  • Do not donate sperm while you are using the tablet form of this medicine and for 3 months after your last dose.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, lung or breathing problems, or a history of cancer or bone marrow problems.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Bone marrow problems, including myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myeloid leukemia
    • Pneumonitis (lung disease)
  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blood in the urine or stool
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, body aches
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Back, joint, or muscle pain
  • Change or loss of taste
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or upset
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Tiredness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and chrome browser.

We are physicians, hospitals and communities working together to help you live better.