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Niraparib is changing - what you need to know

02 June 2023

Niraparib (also known as Zejula) is a maintenance treatment for ovarian cancer. This means it doesn’t cure ovarian cancer but it does prevent its progression. By delaying the spread of the disease, Niraparib can help women feel better and live healthier lives for longer, experiencing reduced symptoms. 

Niraparib has been available in capsule form, but from this month, Niraparib will be available across the UK in a tablet as well as a capsule.  

Why is Niraparib changing from capsule to tablet? 

Niraparib is changing from a capsule to a tablet for three reasons: 

  • The tablet is easier to manufacture than the capsule. 
  • The tablet will be smaller than the capsule, making it easier to swallow. 
  • The tablet has a lower lactose content than the capsule, and no gelatin and no tartrazine E102, which means its ingredients are more suitable for those with allergies or dietary requirements. 

What is the difference between a capsule and a tablet? 

A capsule is a treatment contained in an edible container (Niraparib capsules are purple and white), whereas a tablet is a solid form of the treatment with no outer container. 

Do I need to change the Niraparib capsules I have at home? 

No, Niraparib capsules and tablets offer the same treatment, so there is no need to change the capsules you have at home. Keep taking the capsules as prescribed. 

When will my Niraparib treatment change? 

Doctors will begin prescribing tablets when they are available, so you may notice a change the next time you get your Niraparib prescription.  

Will I need to take the tablets differently to the capsules? 

In short – no. Niraparib tablets and capsules contain the same amount of niraparib, which means you should continue to take the same number of tablets and you did capsules unless your doctor tells you differently.  

Niraparib tablets can still be taken with or without food and at any time of the day, at approximately the same time every day.  

You should store your tablets in the same way you stored your capsules.   

How does Niraparib work? 

Niraparib is a type of cancer treatment called a PARP inhibitor. PARP is an enzyme that helps damaged cells repair themselves.  PARP inhibitors. PARP inhibiters can stop (‘inhibit’) this repair process from happening in damaged ovarian cancer cells, which causes the cancer cells to weaken and die. 

If you’re looking for more details about cancer treatments, we have information on targeted therapies, as well as all types of ovarian cancer treatments over on our patient hub.