If you have a certain kind of breast cancer, your doctor might suggest Talzenna as a treatment option for you.

Talzenna is a prescription drug that’s used in adults to treat advanced breast cancer that has abnormal BRCA genes and is HER2-negative.

The active ingredient in Talzenna is talazoparib. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work. Talzenna is a kind of targeted drug therapy that comes as a capsule that you swallow. This drug may be a long-term treatment depending on how your body responds to it.

For more information about Talzenna, including details about its uses, see this in-depth article.

Talzenna can cause mild to serious side effects. Continue reading to learn more.

Some people may experience side effects during Talzenna treatment.

Talzenna has been reported to have some side effects.

The side effects explained section is where you can learn more about this side effect.

“This is not a complete list of all the side effects. There is more information on Talzenna’s side effects in the following sections.”

Mild side effects have been reported with Talzenna.

The side effects explained section is where you can learn more about this side effect.

These side effects should be temporary. Some may be easy to manage. If you have any symptoms that bother you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Unless your doctor recommends it, Talzenna should not be stopped.

Talzenna may cause mild side effects other than the ones listed above. See the Talzenna prescribing information for details.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Talzenna, visit MedWatch.

There are serious side effects of Talzenna. Some of these side effects are not uncommon.

There have been serious side effects reported with Talzenna.

The side effects explained section is where you can learn more about this side effect.
† An allergic reaction is possible after taking Talzenna. But this side effect wasn’t reported in studies.

If you develop serious side effects while taking Talzenna, call your doctor. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you have a medical emergency, immediately call the emergency number.

Some of the side effects Talzenna may cause are discussed.

Myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myeloid leukemia

Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a kind of cancer involving abnormal blood cells formed in bone marrow. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), another cancer of the blood and bone marrow, may develop in some people with MDS.

In studies of Talzenna, MDS was not a common side effect. And those who developed MDS were treated with certain chemotherapy drugs (traditional drugs used to treat cancer) before taking Talzenna.

Some people have a higher risk of the disease. Risk factors of MDS include:

  • Taking certain drugs.
  • Being 60 years old.
  • Being male
  • Having a certain abnormality in a genes.
  • Smoking tobacco.
  • Exposure to industrial chemicals or radiation.
  • A family history of MDS.

* In this article, we use the term “male” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.

There are symptoms of MDS.

What might help

Talk to your doctor about your health history before you start taking Talzenna. Tell them about other cancer treatments you had.

If you’ve received chemotherapy or radiation, your doctor will likely recommend that you don’t start Talzenna for a certain period of time. This is to make sure that you’ve recovered from those treatments.

Also, you’ll have blood tests to help monitor your blood cell counts while you take Talzenna. If you have abnormal levels of certain blood cells, your doctor may pause your Talzenna treatment and order weekly blood tests for you. The results will help them determine when it’s safe for you to resume Talzenna treatment.

If you develop a disease, your doctor will stop treating you.


Fatigue (low energy) is a common side effect of Talzenna. During treatment with this drug, you may feel extremely tired or weak even when you get enough sleep.

Fatigue can be caused by certain factors, such as some side effects of the drug. An example is anemia (low red blood cell level).

Mental fatigue can be caused by physical fatigue. You may have trouble concentrating and remembering.

Other causes of cancer fatigue include:

What might help

It is important to describe your fatigue to your doctor.

  • When it started.
  • How severe is it?
  • If your fatigue level changes.
  • What makes it better?
  • Whether it affects your thoughts or mood.

Your doctor will order blood tests as part of your Talzenna treatment. The results will help them to determine if your fatigue is related to the drug.

Your doctor can suggest ways to manage fatigue. They may recommend changes to lifestyles.

Here are a few tips that you can try.

If you have fatigue that is bothering you, talk to your doctor.


Headaches are a common side effect of Talzenna. The There is a throbbing head.s may be throbbing or sharp, or they may be dull and constant.

What might help

To help your doctor better assess your There is a throbbing head.s, try keeping a There is a throbbing head. journal. Write down when they happen, what kind of It is a pain. you felt, how long they last, and what may have triggered them.

Here are a few things you can do to prevent There is a throbbing head.s.

  • Take steps to reduce physical and emotional stress with relaxation techniques or progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Eat meals on a regular basis.

To ease a There is a throbbing head., try using an ice pack on the area where you’re feeling It is a pain.. Or place a cool washcloth on your forehead or neck. Taking a warm shower or sitting for a while in a dimly lit room may also help.

Let your doctor know if you have There is a throbbing head.s while taking Talzenna. They can give you more tips on how to manage them. They may recommend some drugs to help you with your symptoms.


Anemia (low red blood cell level) is a common side effect of Talzenna. While anemia caused by Talzenna is usually temporary, it can be serious. In a study, anemia usually occurred in the first 3 to 4 months of treatment.

There are symptoms of anemia.

What might help

Your doctor will order blood tests to make sure you have enough red blood cells. You will have blood tests every month during treatment.

If you have anemia, your doctor may have you stop taking Talzenna for a while. When you restart treatment, they may have you take a lower dose of the drug. If you have severe anemia, you might need a blood transfusion.

If you have symptoms of anemia, talk to your doctor. They may recommend that you get a checkup and order a blood test.

Nausea and vomiting

Talzenna commonly causes nausea and vomiting. In studies, nausea occurred more often than vomiting.

Vomiting can cause dehydration, in which you have a low level of fluid in your body. This can lead to serious problems.

These side effects may be temporary or less severe over time.

What might help

Try to eat small meals every day to help prevent nausea and vomiting. Foods that are greasy or have a lot of sugar are not good choices. It is possible to help by drinking beverages containing ginger or peppermint tea.

To help prevent dehydration, drink plenty of water. If you become seriously dehydrated from vomiting, you may need to receive fluids intravenously (given by injection into a vein over time) in a hospital.

It is possible to reduce your symptoms by resting or avoiding physical activity.

If you have nausea or vomiting, you should talk to your doctor. You can try more tips at home. They may recommend certain drugs to help with the side effects.

Allergic reaction

Like most drugs, Talzenna can cause an allergic reaction in some people. But this side effect wasn’t reported in studies.

Mild to serious symptoms can include:

  • There is a skin rash.
  • It is itchy.
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • “It’s usually under your skin, but it can be anywhere.”
  • It can be hard to breathe if you have swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat.

What might help

If you have a mild rash, call your doctor. They may suggest a treatment to help you. Examples include:

  • an over-the-counter antihistamine that you take by mouth, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • You apply a product to your skin.

If your doctor confirms you have had a mild allergic reaction to Talzenna, they will decide if you should continue taking it.

If you have a severe allergic reaction, you should call the emergency number. These symptoms could be life threatening and need immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you have had a serious allergic reaction to Talzenna, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Keeping track of side effects

Take notes on any side effects you are having during Talzenna treatment. You can share this information with your doctor. This is helpful when you are starting to use a combination of treatments.

Side effect notes can include things.

  • When you had the side effect, what dose of the drug was taking?
  • How soon did you experience the side effect?
  • What are your symptoms?
  • How did it affect your daily activities?
  • What other drugs were you taking?
  • Other information is important to you.

Sharing notes with your doctor will help them learn more about Talzenna. If needed, they can use this information to adjust your treatment plan.

If you have a medical condition that affects your health, Talzenna may not be right for you. Before starting Talzenna, you should talk to your doctor about your health history. The list has factors to consider.

Myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myeloid leukemia. In studies, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML) occurred in some people taking Talzenna. These cases were rare. If you have an increased risk of MDS* or are uncertain whether you do, talk with your doctor. They’ll likely monitor you more closely for MDS during treatment.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Talzenna or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Talzenna. Ask them what other medications are better options for you.

Myelosuppression. Talzenna can decrease the activity of your bone marrow, resulting in decreased levels of certain blood cells. This is called myelosuppression. People with myelosuppression may have an increased risk of bleeding, anemia, and infections.

If you have any blood disorders, tell your doctor about it. They will monitor your blood cell levels to make sure that Talzenna is safe for you. Your doctor may temporarily stop your treatment if your blood cell levels decrease. They may lower your dose when Talzenna is restart.

The “Side effects explained” section above contains a list of factors that increase the risk of MDS.

Alcohol and Talzenna

It is not known if alcohol can interact with Talzenna. If you drink alcohol during treatment, you may be at increased risk of side effects.

Both alcohol and Talzenna can cause some side effects.

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • There is a lot of There is a lot of diarrhea..
  • fatigue (low energy)

Consuming alcohol while taking Talzenna may make the side effects worse.

If you drink alcohol, you should talk to your doctor about the risks.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Talzenna

“If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, Talzenna won’t be recommended by your doctor.”


You should not take Talzenna during your pregnancies. Talzenna can harm a fetus.

If you’re a female* who can become pregnant, your doctor will likely have you take a pregnancy test before you start Talzenna treatment. In addition, it’s recommended that you use birth control during Talzenna treatment and for at least 7 months after your last dose.

Birth control should be used after your last dose of Talzenna if you are a male with a partner who can become pregnant.

Birth control options can be suggested by your doctor.

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should talk to your doctor. They may recommend a different treatment option for you.

* In this article, we use the terms “male” and “female” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.


It is not known if breastfeeding is safe. Your doctor will likely recommend that you not breast feed your child during Talzenna treatment due to the risk of harm. You should wait at least 1 month after your last dose to start breastfeeding.

If you are planning to breastfeeding or taking Talzenna, you should talk to your doctor about the safest ways to feed your child.

There are mild or serious side effects of Talzenna. Not everyone will experience these. Before Talzenna treatment starts, you should talk to your doctor about its side effects. This can help you and your doctor decide if this medication is a good option for you. The questions below are to help you start the conversation.

  • What happens if I become pregnant during treatment?
  • Do my side effects affect my treatment?
  • Is it a higher risk for side effects if I have other health conditions?
  • What are the most common side effects of Talzenna?

If you have breast cancer, you can get news on treatments and advice for managing your condition by signing up for Healthline’s online newsletter. Or join Healthline’s breast cancer community for insights and support from others living with breast cancer.


Will my doctor change my treatment if I have side effects from Talzenna?



If you have side effects that are serious or not well, your doctor may adjust your dose of Talzenna. They might temporarily stop your treatment if you have any side effects. When you resume taking Talzenna, your doctor may lower the dose.

There are a few examples of side effects that may affect Talzenna.

If you need to have your dose reduced more than three times, your doctor will recommend that you stop taking Talzenna.

Talk to your doctor about how side effects may affect your treatment.

The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.