Axitinib (By mouth)
Treats cancer, including kidney cancer.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
- Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you. Take each dose 12 hours apart.
- Swallow the tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
- Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor for instructions.
- If you vomit after you take the medicine, do not take more. Just take your next dose at the regular time.
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Some medicines and foods can affect how axitinib works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
- HIV/AIDS medicine, such as atazanavir, efavirenz, etravirine, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir
- Infection medicine, such as clarithromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, telithromycin, voriconazole
- Seizure medicine, such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
- St John's wort
- Tuberculosis medicine, such as rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine
- Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- This medicine may cause birth defects if either partner is using it during conception or pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, or a history of a heart attack, stroke, or blood clotting problems.
- This medicine may cause the following problems:
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid changes
- Bleeding problems or blood clots
- Tears or holes in your stomach or bowel
- Slow healing of wounds
- Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS)
- Hand-foot syndrome
- Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests.
- Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
- Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Chest pain, trouble breathing, coughing up blood
- Fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat
- Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body
- Seizure, headache, confusion, trouble seeing
- Severe or ongoing stomach or abdominal pain
- Sudden or severe headache, pain in your calf, problems with vision, speech, or walking
- Red or brown urine, bloody or black stools, vomiting blood
- Redness, pain, swelling, or blisters on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet
- Tiredness, feeling too hot or cold, hair loss, weight gain, or voice changes
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, tiredness, or weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Decreased appetite and weight loss
- Diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or vomiting
- Voice changes
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last reviewed on 8/4/2014
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