Giving hope to those affected
by secondary breast cancer

Research. Support. Education.


3rd July 2022 by Claire O'Donnell Education


What is Ribociclib

Ribociclib is a type of targeted cancer drug; It is a treatment for breast cancer that has spread to another part of the body (advanced / metastatic / secondary / stage 4)


What is a targeted cancer drug:

Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that targets proteins that control how cancer cells grow, divide, and spread.


You would usually have this in combination with a hormone therapy drug

Ribociclib is used for a type of breast cancer that is hormone receptor positive (HR+) and human epidermal growth factor receptor negative (HER2-). You have tests on a sample of breast cancer cells to check for this.


How does Ribociclib work

Ribociclib is a type of cancer growth blocker. It targets the proteins cyclin dependant kinase 4 and cyclin dependant 6 (CDK 4 and CDK 6) on breast cancer cells.

CDK 4 and CDK 6 are proteins that stimulate cancer cells to divide and grow.

Ribociclib works by blocking these proteins. It aims to slow or stop the growth of the cancer.


You take Ribociclib as tablets. You take the tablets with or without food and swallow them whole. You take these at the same time each day.


You have Ribociclib as cycles of treatment. This means that you have the drug and then a rest to allow your body to recover. One cycle lasts 28 days (4 weeks). A normal cycle would be 3 weeks of tablets and one week without.


Side effects to be aware of:

  • Increased risk of infection
  • Bruising, bleeding gums or nose bleeds
  • Breathlessness and looking pale
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing or cough
  • Nausea 
  • Diarrhoea
  • Sore mouth
  • Stomach pain
  • Hair thinning or loss
  • Skin problems
  • Back pain
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Fluid build up in your hands, ankles or feet
  • Liver changes
  • Indigestion or Heartburn


Other important facts:

Peanut and soya allergy

Do not take Ribociclib if you are allergic to peanuts or soya because it contains soya bean oil.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice

You should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice when you are taking this drug because it may increase the side effects.