Idelalisib is a kinase inhibitor used for the treatment of;

  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
  • Follicular lymphoma

There are numerous forms of kinases that control different phases of cell growth. A kinase is an enzyme that promotes cell growth. By blocking a particular enzyme from working, Idelalisib can slow the growth of the cancer cells. Idelalisib works by targeting a protein called phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) delta. It is important in the activation and proliferation of B cells. PI3K is seen in higher than normal levels in many B-cell cancers.  


This is the most common leukemia in adults. It is a type of cancer that starts in cells that become certain white blood cells in the bone marrow. The cancer cells start in the bone marrow but then go into the blood. Cancer starts when cells start to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer and can spread to other parts of the body. 

In chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the leukemia cells frequently accumulate slowly. Various people don’t have any symptoms for at least a few years but over time, the cells grow and spread to other parts of the body. Leukemia starts in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow. When one of these cells changes and becomes a leukemia cell, it no longer matures the way it should and grows out of control. Leukemia cells don’t die when they should. This allows them to build up in the bone marrow, crowding out normal cells. Sometimes, the cells of leukemia leave the bone marrow and spill into the bloodstream. This increases the number of white blood cells in the blood. Once on the blood, leukemia cells can spread to other organs where they can prevent other cells in the body from functioning normally. 

Follicular lymphoma

This is non-Hodgkin’s type of lymphoma. It originates in the B lymphocytes or B-cells and it is the most common form of the slow-growing disease. Those with this disease don’t usually experience strong or obvious symptoms for a long time before diagnosis due to the indolent nature of lymphoma. The progression of the disease depends on many factors but is usually not a threat to the lives of the patients. 

Follicular lymphoma affects mostly the lymph nodes like other lymphomas. Under the microscope, it shows rounded structures resembling follicles. The most common signs of lymphoma start with painless swellings in the lymph nodes, particularly in the neck and armpits. Patients with follicular lymphoma are at particular risk of developing abdominal tumors that can obstruct normal digestion and urination. This condition progresses slowly and the symptoms can go unnoticed for years. As silent cancer with subtle symptoms, the diagnosis is more difficult and it is often done in later stages of the disease. 

How to use Idelalisib?

Idelalisib comes in tablet form and is taken twice a day. Each dose may be taken either with or without a meal. The tablet should be swallowed whole and not broken, crushed, or chewed. If you miss a dose and it is less than 6 hours since your dose was due, take the dose right away. If you miss a dose and it is more than 6 hours since the last dose, then skip that dose and take your regular dose at the next scheduled time. Do not take 2 doses at once to make up for a missed dose.

It is important to make sure you are taking the correct amount of medication every time. Before every dose, check that what you are taking matches what you have been prescribed. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment. Drink plenty of fluids while having this treatment. Doing so may lessen the risk of certain side effects. Do not suddenly stop taking Idelalisib without the consent of your doctor. It is important to continue taking this even if you feel well. To help you remember, take it at the same time and in the same way each day. Inform your doctor at once if your condition gets worse. 

What are the side effects of Idelalisib?

There are several things that you can do to manage the side effects of Idelalisib. Talk to your doctor about some of the recommendations. It may help you decide what will work best for you. These are some of the most common side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Infection 
  • Rash
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood sodium
  • High blood sugar 


  • You have blood tests before and during your treatment. The levels of your blood cells and other substances in the blood will be checked. 
  • The blood levels of this medication can be affected by certain foods and medications, they should be avoided. These include grapefruit juice, grapefruit, Rifampin, dexamethasone, or paroxetine. Make sure to tell your doctor or healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you take. 
  • You may not be able to become pregnant or father a child after treatment with this drug. Talk to your doctor before starting treatment if you think you may want to have a baby in the future. Men might be able to store sperm before starting treatment. Women might be able to store eggs or ovarian tissue as well. but, these services are not available in every hospital, so you would need to ask your doctor about it. 
  • This treatment might harm a baby developing in the womb. It is important not to become pregnant or father a child while you’re having treatment and for a few months afterward. You may talk to your doctor about effective contraception before starting the treatment. 
  • Do not breastfeed while having this treatment because the drug may come through into your breastmilk. 
  • You should not have immunizations with live vaccines while you’re having treatment and for up to 12 months afterward. The length of time depends on the treatment you are having. 
  • Ask your doctor before scheduling dental appointments. 
  • If any unusual signs occur while you are taking this drug, call your doctor right away.