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|How does this medication work? What will it do for me?|
Axitinib belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics and more specifically to a class of medications called tyrosine kinase inhibitors. These medications disrupt cell communication to slow the growth of blood vessels that feed nutrients to cancer cells. By slowing the growth of these blood vessels, axitinib can help reduce the size of tumours, which are collections of cancer cells.
Axitinib is used to treat kidney cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, called metastatic renal cell carcinoma, after other treatments have been tried.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
|How should I use this medication?|
The recommended starting dose of axitinib is 5 mg taken by mouth twice daily. Your doctor may adjust your dose depending on how you tolerate axitinib. Daily doses should not exceed 20 mg. Axitinib can be taken with or without food. Do not take axitinib with grapefruit juice, since it may interact with axitinib
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose or vomit after a dose, skip the missed or vomited dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature (between 15°C and 30°C) and keep it out of the reach of children.
|What form(s) does this medication come in?|
|Who should NOT take this medication?|
Do not use axitinib if you:
|What side effects are possible with this medication?|
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
|Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?|
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Bleeding: Axitinib may increase your risk of bleeding. If you experience signs of bleeding (e.g., nosebleeds, blood in the urine or stools, darkened urine or stools), contact your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will perform regular blood tests to monitor you while you are taking this medication.
Blood clots: Axitinibmay cause the formation of blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) that can move to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Blood clots can also cause a heart attack or a stroke. Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you have pain, redness, or swelling in your legs. If you develop chest pain and shortness of breath, seek immediate medical attention. Also seek immediate medical attention if you have sudden headache, dizziness, problems speaking, vision problems, or numbness or weakness, even if they are temporary. If you have had a blood clot in the past, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed
Heart problems: This medication can decrease heart function, which may lead to heart failure. If you experience symptoms of heart failure such as unusual tiredness, shortness of breath, or swelling of the feet and ankles, contact your doctor.
This medication may also cause an abnormal heart rhythm, which often has no symptoms, or a decreased heart rate. If you experience fainting or chest pain while taking this medication, get immediate medical attention.
If you have a history of heart problems (e.g., heart arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, heart attack, heart bypass surgery), discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
High blood pressure: Your doctor may check your blood pressure before starting axitinib and then ask you to measure your blood pressure regularly while taking axitinib. Some people taking axitinib develop very high blood pressure that requires adding blood pressure medications, changing the dose, or even stopping the medication for a period of time. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Kidney or liver problems: If you have severely decreased kidney or liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Neurological problems: Rarely, patients may experience symptoms of a neurological disorder that can present with headache, seizure, lethargy, confusion, blindness and other visual and neurologic disturbances. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
Tear in the intestines: Axitinib is associated with intestinal perforation (tear in the intestinal wall). If you have symptoms of an intestinal tear such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or fever and chills, go see your doctor.
Thyroid problems: Axitinibmay decrease thyroid hormone levels. Your doctor will monitor your thyroid function with blood tests before and during treatment with axitinib. If you have symptoms of low thyroid such as dry skin, constipation, weight gain, or fatigue, go see your doctor.
Wound healing complications: Axitinib may decrease your ability for wound healing. Talk to your doctor if you have an unhealed wound following surgery or if you have a surgery scheduled.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy. Both men and women should use effective birth control during axitinib treatment. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if axitinib passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children less than 18 years of age.
|What other drugs could interact with this medication?|
There may be an interaction between axitinib and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
The contents of this site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.
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