Sunitinib is used to treat cancer of the kidneys, pancreas, stomach and intestine.
Take Sunitinib 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.
This medicine may be taken with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Sunitinib 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.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your 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.
Inform your doctor if you have kidney disease.
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.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. He may also need to do routine blood tests (e.g. complete blood count, liver function tests) while you are being treated with Sunitinib. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have blood tests.
Sunitinib may make you dizzy. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, fever, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, stomach pain, constipation, loss of appetite, mouth ulcers, an unusual taste in the mouth, limb pain, back pain, tiredness, difficulty sleeping, dry skin, rash, hand-foot syndrome (a condition characterised by redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet), hair discoloration, and changes in skin color (e.g. yellow skin discoloration).
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- chest pain
- swelling of the ankles, feet or hand
- fever with persistent sore throat or mouth ulcers, unusual bleeding or bruising
- difficulty breathing, cough
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:
- other medicines to treat cancer e.g. bevacizumab
- medicines to regulate heartbeat e.g. disopyramide, propranolol, amiodarone, verapamil
- medicines to treat fungal infections e.g. ketoconazole, itraconazole, and voriconazole
- antibiotics e.g. clarithromycin, telithromycin
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital
- medicines to treat TB (lung infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin
- medicines to treat bone disorders e.g. alendronate, etidronate, risedronate
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. idinavir, saquinavir, ritonavir
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Sunitinib.
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.
Avoid alcohol and excessive consumption (more than 1 litre a day) of grapefruit juice.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired capsules to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.