Ibrutinib-associated bleeding: pathogenesis, management and risk reduction strategies

J. J. Shatzel, S. R. Olson, D. L. Tao, Owen McCarty, Alexey Danilov, Thomas Deloughery

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

55 Scopus citations


Ibrutinib is an irreversible inhibitor of Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) that has proven to be an effective therapeutic agent for multiple B-cell-mediated lymphoproliferative disorders. Ibrutinib, however, carries an increased bleeding risk compared with standard chemotherapy. Bleeding events range from minor mucocutaneous bleeding to life-threatening hemorrhage, due in large part to the effects of ibrutinib on several distinct platelet signaling pathways. There is currently a minimal amount of data to guide clinicians regarding the use of ibrutinib in patients at high risk of bleeding or on anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapy. In addition, the potential cardiovascular protective effects of ibrutinib monotherapy in patients at risk of vascular disease are unknown. Patients should be cautioned against using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, fish oils, vitamin E and aspirin-containing products, and consider replacing ibrutinib with a different agent if dual antiplatelet therapy is indicated. Patients should not take vitamin K antagonists concurrently with ibrutinib; direct oral anticoagulants should be used if extended anticoagulation is strongly indicated. In this review, we describe the pathophysiology of ibrutinib-mediated bleeding and suggest risk reduction strategies for common clinical scenarios associated with ibrutinib.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)835-847
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • agammaglobulinemia
  • blood platelets
  • hemorrhage
  • ibrutinib
  • lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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