What is this medication?
VANDETANIB (van DET a nib) treats thyroid 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): Caprelsa
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
- Having or recent surgery
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood
- History of irregular heartbeat or rhythm
- History of low levels of calcium, magnesium, or potassium in the blood
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Lung or breathing disease, such as asthma or COPD
- Skin conditions or sensitivity
- An unusual or allergic reaction to vandetanib, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- 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.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
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 a dose, take it as soon as you can unless it is less than 12 hours before the next dose. If it is less than 12 hours before the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take the next dose at the normal time.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
This medication may also interact with the following:
- Certain medications for irregular heartbeat, such as amiodarone, disopyramide, ibutilide, procainamide, propafenone, quinidine, sotalol
- Certain medications for seizures, such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
- Other medications that cause heart rhythm changes, such as dofetilide
- 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?
Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medication. You may need blood work while taking this medication.
Tell your care team right away if you have any change in your eyesight.
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 1 month 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.
This medication can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun while taking this medication and for 4 months after the last dose. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps, tanning beds, or tanning booths.
Talk to your care team if you may be pregnant. Serious birth defects can occur if you take this medication during pregnancy and for 4 months after the last dose. You will need a negative pregnancy test before starting this medication. Contraception is recommended while taking this medication and for 4 months after the last dose. Your care team can help you find the option that works for you.
Do not breastfeed while taking this medication and for 4 months after the last dose.
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
- Dry cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Heart failure—shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles, feet, or hands, sudden weight gain, unusual weakness or fatigue
- Heart rhythm changes—fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
- Increase in blood pressure
- Low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism)—unusual weakness or fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, hair loss, dry skin, weight gain, feelings of depression
- Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- Severe or prolonged diarrhea
- 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):
- Loss of appetite
- Sensitivity to light
- Stomach pain
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 Vandetanib
- Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
- If you should experience nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small frequent meals. Sucking on lozenges and chewing gum may also help.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sun block 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.
- Vandetanib can cause tiredness, weakness or blurred vision. If you have any of these symptoms, use caution when driving a car, using machinery, or anything that requires you to be alert.
- 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:
- Fever of 100.4° F (38°C or higher, chills)
- Irregular heartbeat, lightheadedness or feeling faint
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Headaches, seizures, confusion, changes in vision or thinking
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:
- Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period).
- Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication).
- Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period).
- Unable to eat or drink for 24 hours or have signs of dehydration: tiredness, thirst, dry mouth, dark and decrease amount of urine, or dizziness.
- Skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow
- Urine turns dark or brown (tea color)
- Decreased appetite
- Pain on the right side of your stomach
- Bleed or bruise more easily than normal
- Skin changes (rash, acne, itching, blisters, peeling, redness or swelling).
- High blood pressure
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.