Hand Problems

Been on imbruvica 1 year and three months. My numbers are excellent. My only negative is my hands and fingernails. The nails split and hands develop pustules and redness in areas, my finger tips crack, and with this will last for weeks. There are no other side issues. Does anyone have these issues and if you do what can be done about it. I have tried all hand lotions and no success. Thanks you all, lme


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8 Replies

  • For the problem of fingernails splitting and breaking on Ibrutinib, a lot of members take biotin daily and feel it makes a difference. Some people take 5000 mcg, others 10,000 mcg. I have been taking 5000 mcg daily since I started Ibrutinib a little over 3 months ago. No fingernail problems yet (but it may take longer than that for the fingernail problem to manifest). Good luck!


  • Very common on Ibrutinib. I am on Acalabrutinib - also a BTK inhibitor and started to experience the same thing about 8 months into treatment. I wear my finger nails very short and use Working Hands hand cream (with a little lavendar oil added since it marketed heavily to mechanics and people who garden, and is no frills for sure!)

    I also notice my toenails are shattering and breaking off very low when I stub my toe against something. I started biotin 6 weeks ago and hear it takes some time to be effective. Good luck!

  • I have a problem in the winter with constant finger splits, which get infected, since starting Ibrutinib. I have just started using Manuka Oil on them. I heard about it from my oncologist who said the nurses in the ER were raving about it. It is supposed to have antibiotic properties.

    I got mine from Amazon. You want it to have a UMF rating of at least 10.

    I'm hoping it helps...


  • Same here... I keep Liquid Bandage bottles everywhere. Cars, workbench, bedroom...also use Hard as Nails ( sure wish they made a flat finish for us guys). Keep nails very short and trim at any sign of a chip or split. Good lotions are always ready and at night...lotion and latex glove... plus Biotin

  • Same here. Especially when it is dry out side. I take Biotin , New Skin and very thick creams.

    What also help a lot is to put band-aids on my finger tips with some antibiotic cream below it and that protects and helps heal. I got these 3M Nexcare band-aids and they stick like crazy!! The issues is they are hard to get off but do a great job protecting your fingers!!

    Be well.


  • Me too - weak, cracking nails. I started 5K Biotin a couple of months ago, and see some improvement, but no cure, yet. In addition to lotions, I keep a fingernail file next to my TV chair, and file down the sharp/cracking corners every night or two - much easier than a MAJOR filing once a week.

    In this regard, has anyone really noticed any significant difference/improvement using Biotin 10,000 versus 5,000 ?

    I get some minor pustules and red spots on my hands, but like Imbruvica "spots" on other parts of my body, they don't hurt, and usually go away after a few days.

    These are certainly "Pain-in-the-neck" problems, but try to think about/remember all the more serious side-effects we used to get with the harsh chemotherapy drugs that were used only 10-20 years ago, and be thankful.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, all.


  • I've been on Imbruvica for going on 2 years now, numbers great, only side effect is what you are experiencing as well. I discussed this issue with my dermatologist, and here's what she suggested. Get some Aquaphor ointment, smear it on your fingertips and nails at bedtime, then cover your hands with cotton gloves and keep them on overnight. I also have Sjogren's Syndrome which dries my skin even more, and live in a climate where it's cold in the winter and therefore very dry indoors. Sometimes during the day if my fingertips split again, I do the Aquaphor ointment and cover with bandaids. Clumsy, but helps for a while. You just have to keep up with it. For the nails, I keep them very short and covered with a clear coat of polish. Good luck. I empathize!

  • My husband does what cook4650 suggests - aquaphor with cotton gloves overnight. Has made a big difference. Only occasional nail breaks now. He also takes 2500 mg biotin.

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