Vandetanib is used to treat thyroid cancer that cannot be removed by surgery or has spread to other parts of the body.
This medicine reduces the size of the tumours by stopping cancer cells from growing.
Take Vandetanib exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. Do not crush the tablet. If you have difficulty swallowing tablets, you may drop the tablet (without crushing) in a half glass of non-carbonated water, stir until dispersed (approximately 10 minutes), and drink immediately. Mix any remaining residue with another half glass of water and drink it.
Vandetanib must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
If it is 12 hours or more until your next dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember.
If it is less than 12 hours until the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you were born with a heart condition known as congenital long QT syndrome as Vandetanib may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Vandetanib if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Vandetanib may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking Vandetanib.
It is important that you do not get pregnant while being treated with this medicine. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor or pharmacist. Avoid pregnancy during treatment and for 4 months after you stop taking this medicine.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- brain cancer
- heart disease e.g. heart failure
- recent stroke
- high blood pressure
- bleeding problem e.g.recent or history of coughing up blood
- liver disease
- kidney disease
Vandetanib may cause sensitivity to light. Apply sunscreen when going outdoors and avoid direct or prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV lamps.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your blood pressure, kidney and liver function and check your response to the medication regularly. Your doctor may also need to do some tests (e.g. complete blood count, thyroid levels, electrolyte levels, ECG or electrocardiogram) while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Vandetanib may cause dizziness and blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects may include any of the following: headache, rash, acne, stomach pain, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, loss of appetite, dry skin, weakness, tiredness, difficulty sleeping and depression.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- fainting, chest pain, rapid or irregular heartbeat
- rashes with skin peeling or blisters
- severe diarrhoea
- serious breathlessness (possibly with cough or fever)
- confusion, seizure
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for abnormal heart rhythm e.g disopyramide, sotalol, amiodarone, procainamide, dofetilide
- medicines for nausea and vomiting e.g. ondansetron, dolasetron
- certain antibiotics e.g. clarithromycin, erythromycin, moxifloxacin
- medicines for mood disorders e.g. pimozide, haloperidol
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
- medicines for tuberculosis or TB e.g. rifampicin
- medicines for malaria (serious infection spread by mosquitoes) e.g. chloroquine, halofantrine, lumefantrine
- herbal medicines e.g. St. John’s wort
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Vandetanib.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired tablets to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.