Sorafenib (By mouth)

Introduction

Sorafenib (soe-RAF-e-nib)

Treats late-stage kidney cancer and liver cancer that cannot be treated with surgery.

Brand Name(s)

Nexavar

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to sorafenib, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. This medicine should not be used together with certain cancer medicines (such as carboplatin, paclitaxel, Paraplatin®, Taxol®) in patients with squamous cell lung cancer.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet

  • 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.
  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may also receive medicines to help prevent nausea and vomiting.
  • Take this medicine on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal).
  • Swallow the tablet whole with water. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • If you vomit after taking your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • 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.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you also use a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®) or medicine for seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Dilantin®, Tegretol®). Tell your doctor if you use dexamethasone (Decadron®), neomycin (Mycifradin®), rifabutin (Mycobutin®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), St. John's wort, or if you have ever been treated with cancer drugs (such as docetaxel, doxorubicin, fluorouracil/leucovorin, gemcitabine/cisplatin, irinotecan, Adriamycin®, Adrucil®, Camptosar®, Gemzar®, Platinol®, Rubex®, Taxotere®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Both men and women must use an effective form of birth control during treatment and for at least 2 weeks after stopping treatment. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have kidney problems, liver problems, bleeding problems, heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart rhythm problems (such as congenital long QT syndrome, QT prolongation, slow heartbeat), high blood pressure, or a mineral imbalance (such as high or low calcium, magnesium, or potassium).
  • This medicine may cause serious heart problems. Check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain or discomfort, nausea, pain or discomfort in your arms, jaw, back or neck, shortness of breath, sweating, or vomiting.
  • This medicine may increase your chance of bleeding and cause wounds to heal more slowly. Avoid rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when you use sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • Serious skin reactions can occur. Check with your doctor right away if you have a skin rash or any redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, severe acne, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, bloody or black tarry stools, fever, heartburn, nausea, or vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds. These could be symptoms of a serious bowel problem.
  • This medicine can cause changes in heart rhythms, such as a condition called QT prolongation. It may change the way your heart beats and cause you to faint or have serious side effects. Contact your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of hepatitis.
  • 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.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or medical tests.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • Your blood pressure should be checked weekly during the first 6 weeks of using this medicine and checked regularly after that. Your doctor may need to treat you if you develop high blood pressure.

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
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Dark urine or pale stools, yellow skin or eyes
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Nausea, vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach that may be sudden and severe
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands or feet
  • Red or black stools
  • Redness, pain, swelling, or blisters on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet
  • Trouble breathing
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry skin, rash, redness, or itching
  • Hair thinning or patchy hair loss
  • Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain
  • Weight loss

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

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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