sunitinib

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sunitinib

Pronunciation:soo NIT in ib
Brand:Sutent

Sutent 12.5 mg

orange, imprinted with Pfizer, STN 12.5 mg

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Sutent 50 mg

brown, imprinted with Pfizer, STN 50 mg

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What is the most important information I should know about sunitinib?

nopregDo not use sunitinib if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Before using sunitinib, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, high blood pressure, seizures, a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder, a thyroid disorder, heart disease, heart rhythm disorder, or if you have ever had a heart attack, congestive heart failure, a stroke, blood clots, coronary artery disease, bypass graft surgery, or transient ischemic attack (TIA).

To be sure this medication is helping your condition and is not causing certain side effects, your blood and blood pressure may need to be tested at the beginning of each 4-week treatment cycle. Your heart function may also need to be tested with an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) on a regular basis. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

emtStop using sunitinib and call your doctor at once if you have chest pain, severe dizziness, fast or pounding heartbeat, swelling, feeling short of breath, fainting, sudden numbness or weakness, severe headache, weight changes, tiredness, missed menstrual periods, blood in your urine or stools, coughing up blood, easy bruising or bleeding, upper stomach pain, dark urine, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

What is sunitinib?

Sunitinib is a cancer medicine that helps the body slow down the growth and reproduction of certain cells, including tumor cells.

Sunitinib is used to treat certain types of advanced or progressive tumors of the digestive system, the pancreas, or the kidneys.

Sunitinib may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using sunitinib?

donotYou should not use this medication if you are allergic to it.

To make sure you can safely take sunitinib, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver or kidney disease;
  • high blood pressure;
  • seizures;
  • a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder;
  • a thyroid disorder;
  • heart disease, heart rhythm disorder;
  • a personal or family history of "Long QT syndrome";
  • a history of heart attack or congestive heart failure; or
  • a history of stroke, blood clots, coronary artery disease, bypass graft surgery, or transient ischemic attack (TIA).
nopregFDA pregnancy category D. Do not use sunitinib if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
nobrfeedIt is not known if sunitinib passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take sunitinib?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Sunitinib is usually taken once per day. Sunitinib is sometimes taken for 4 weeks followed by 2 weeks off the drug. Your doctor will determine how many complete treatment cycles you need based on your condition.

Sunitinib may be taken with or without food.

waterTake this medicine with a full glass of water.
nocrushDo not crush, chew, or open a sunitinib capsule. Swallow it whole. The medicine from a crushed or broken pill can be dangerous if it gets on your skin. If this occurs, wash your skin with soap and water and rinse thoroughly.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition and is not causing certain side effects, your blood and blood pressure may need to be tested at the beginning of each 4-week treatment cycle. Your heart function may also need to be tested with an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) on a regular basis. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

emtIf you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using sunitinib. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
rtStore at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

emtSeek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include muscle weakness, shaking or chills, and stomach pain.

What should I avoid while taking sunitinib?

Avoid taking an herbal supplement containing St. John's wort at the same time you are taking sunitinib.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with sunitinib and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of sunitinib?

emtGet emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
donotStop using sunitinib and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
  • chest pain, general ill feeling;
  • severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat;
  • swelling of your ankles or feet, feeling short of breath (even with mild exertion);
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden and severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • feeling very weak or tired, loss of appetite, weight gain or loss, hair loss, increased sensitivity to heat;
  • missed menstrual periods;
  • feeling agitated, depressed, or nervous;
  • redness, tenderness, sunburn-like peeling of the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet;
  • change in your mental state, blood in your urine or stools, black or tarry stools;
  • pain and swelling in your stomach, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • fever, white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips; or
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • unusual or unpleasant taste in the mouth;
  • cough;
  • mild nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or upset;
  • diarrhea or constipation;
  • dry skin, changes in skin or hair color; or
  • joint pain, back pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect sunitinib?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you are using, especially:

  • dexamethasone (Cortastat, Dexasone, Solurex, DexPak);
  • imatinib (Gleevec);
  • isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
  • nefazodone;
  • St. John's wort;
  • an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate), rifapentine (Priftin), or telithromycin (Ketek);
  • antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), miconazole (Oravig), or voriconazole (Vfend);
  • a barbiturate such as butabarbital (Butisol), secobarbital (Seconal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), or phenobarbital (Solfoton);
  • heart or blood pressure medication such as nicardipine (Cardene), quinidine (Quin-G), or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others;
  • HIV/AIDS medicine such as atazanavir (Reyataz), delavirdine (Rescriptor), efavirenz (Sustiva, Atripla), etravirine (Intelence), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), nevirapine (Viramune), saquinavir (Invirase), or ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra);
  • medicines to treat narcolepsy, such as armodafanil (Nuvigil) or modafanil (Progivil); or
  • seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol), felbamate (Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), phenytoin (Dilantin), or primidone (Mysoline).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with sunitinib. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about sunitinib.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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