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PARP Inhibitors: Uses, Common Brands, and Safety Info

PARP inhibitors are a class of cancer medications that block an enzyme involved in DNA repair. They are commonly used in breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancers, especially those with specific gene mutations. Common brands include Olaparib, Rucaparib, Niraparib, and Talazoparib. Side effects may include fatigue, anemia, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. It's important to discuss any existing medical conditions and medications with a healthcare

PARP Inhibitors

PARP inhibitors, also known as Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors, are a class of medications used in cancer therapy. These drugs work by inhibiting the enzyme Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, which plays a vital role in DNA repair. By blocking this enzyme, PARP inhibitors prevent cancer cells from repairing their damaged DNA effectively, leading to their death.


PARP inhibitors have shown significant effectiveness in the treatment of various types of cancers, especially those associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. These mutations impair the body's natural ability to repair DNA damage, making cancer cells vulnerable to PARP inhibitors. These drugs are commonly used in the following conditions:

  • Breast cancer

  • Ovarian cancer

  • Prostate cancer

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Ovarian Fallopian tube, and Primary Peritoneal cancer

In some cases, PARP inhibitors may be used as a monotherapy, while in others, they may be combined with chemotherapy or targeted therapy, depending on the specific cancer and its stage.

Common Brands

Several PARP inhibitors are available on the market, each with its own brand name. Some common brands of PARP inhibitors include:

  • Olaparib (Lynparza)

  • Rucaparib (Rubraca)

  • Niraparib (Zejula)

  • Talazoparib (Talzenna)

These brands may differ in dosage forms, administration routes, and dosing schedules. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable option for individual cancer treatment.


Like any medication, PARP inhibitors have potential side effects and safety considerations. Common side effects may include fatigue, anemia, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. It is important to report any side effects to a healthcare provider, as they can provide guidance or prescribe medications to manage these symptoms.

Prior to starting PARP inhibitors, it is essential to inform the healthcare team about any existing medical conditions or ongoing treatments, as they may affect the suitability or dosage of the medication. Additionally, PARP inhibitors may interact with other medications, so it is crucial to disclose all the medications, supplements, or herbal products being taken.

As PARP inhibitors can potentially harm a developing fetus, they should not be used during pregnancy. It is important to use effective contraception during treatment and discuss family planning options with a healthcare provider.

In conclusion, PARP inhibitors are an important class of medications used in cancer therapy, primarily for the treatment of breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancers. They work by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for DNA repair in cancer cells. While effective, it is crucial to consider the safety and potential side effects of PARP inhibitors, and to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and support.