What is this medication?
AXITINIB (AX i TI nib) treats kidney cancer. It works by blocking a protein that causes cancer cells to grow and multiply. This helps to slow or stop the spread of cancer cells.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): INLYTA
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Bleeding disorder
- Brain tumor
- Having or recent surgery
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- History of blood clots
- Liver disease
- Stomach or intestine problems
- Thyroid disease
- An unusual or allergic reaction to axitinib, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- If you or your partner are pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with water. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Do not cut, crush, or chew this medication. Swallow the tablets whole. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop.
Do not take this medication with grapefruit juice.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss or throw up a dose, skip it. Take your next dose at the normal time. Do not take extra or 2 doses at the same time to make up for the missed dose.
What may interact with this medication?
- Certain antibiotics, such as clarithromycin, nafcillin, telithromycin
- Certain antivirals for HIV or AIDS, such as atazanavir, efavirenz, etravirine, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir
- Certain medications for fungal infections, such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole
- Certain medications for seizures, such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
- Certain medications for tuberculosis, such as rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine
- Grapefruit juice
- St. John's wort
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. It may be some time before you see the benefit from this medication.
This medication may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your care team tells you to stop.
Before having surgery, talk to your care team to make sure it is ok. This medication can increase the risk of poor healing of your surgical site or wound. You will need to stop this medication for 2 days before surgery. After surgery, wait at least 2 weeks before restarting this medication. Make sure the surgical site or wound is healed enough before restarting this medication. Talk to your care team if questions.
Be careful brushing or flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medication.
Talk to your care team if you or your partner may be pregnant. Serious birth defects can occur if you take this medication during pregnancy and for 1 week after the last dose. You will need a negative pregnancy test before starting this medication. Contraception is recommended while taking this medication and for 1 week after the last dose. Your care team can help you find the option that works for you.
If your partner can get pregnant, use a condom during sex while taking this medication and for 1 week after the last dose.
Do not breastfeed while taking this medication and for 2 weeks after stopping therapy.
This medication may cause infertility. Talk to your care team if you are concerned about your fertility.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Bleeding—bloody or black, tar-like stools, vomiting blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds, red or dark brown urine, small red or purple spots on skin, unusual bruising or bleeding
- Blood clot—pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg, shortness of breath, chest pain
- Heart attack—pain or tightness in the chest, shoulders, arms, or jaw, nausea, shortness of breath, cold or clammy skin, feeling faint or lightheaded
- Heart failure—shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles, feet, or hands, sudden weight gain, unusual weakness or fatigue
- Increase in blood pressure
- Kidney injury—decrease in the amount of urine, swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
- Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
- Low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism)—unusual weakness or fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, hair loss, dry skin, weight gain, feelings of depression
- Stomach pain that is severe, does not go away, or gets worse
- Stroke—sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, trouble speaking, confusion, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, severe headache, change in vision
- Sudden and severe headache, confusion, change in vision, seizures, which may be signs of posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES)
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Change in voice, hoarseness
- Loss of appetite with weight loss
- Redness, swelling, and blistering of the skin over hands and feet
- Unusual weakness or fatigue
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
- Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
- If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put it in the trash, take the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Axitinib
Axitinib Self-Care Tips:
- Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
- Follow regimen of anti-diarrhea medication as prescribed by your health care professional.
- Eat foods that may help reduce diarrhea (see managing side effects - diarrhea).
- Monitor your blood pressure as recommended by your physician. Call your doctor if you develop new high blood pressure or worsening of pre-existing high blood pressure.
- You may be at risk of infection so wash your hands often.
- Report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your health care provider.
- Be sure to take good care of your mouth and teeth. Use a soft toothbrush, and rinse three times a day with 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 8 ounces of water.
- Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
- Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
- To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition.
- If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.
When to Contact Your Doctor or Health Care Provider:
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:
- Blood pressure readings that is very high, including the systolic BP (top number) higher than 160 or the diastolic number (bottom number) higher than 100.
- Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher, chills (possible signs of infection)
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:
- Blood pressure readings that is high, including the systolic BP (top number) higher than 150 or the diastolic number (bottom number) higher than 90. Your physician may give you different guidelines regarding when to call about blood pressure readings. If so, follow those guidelines.
- Swelling, redness and/or pain in one leg or arm and not the other (may be signs and symptoms of blood clot)
- Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication)
- Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
- Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools
- Blood in the urine
- Pain or burning with urination
- Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
- Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers)
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.