Lenvatinib is used to treat certain types of cancer of the thyroid gland that has recurred or has spread to other parts of the body, progressed, and have failed previous therapy with radioactive iodine.
This medicine is also used to treat cancer of the liver when it cannot be removed by surgery.
Lenvatinib may also be used together with other medicines to treat cancer of the kidney for those who have had one previous therapy with another medicine for cancer, or certain cancer of the endometrium (inner lining of the womb) that has spread after previous treatment and that cannot be removed by surgery or radiation therapy.
Take Lenvatinib 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. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Swallow the capsule whole with a glass of water.
If you have difficulty swallowing capsule(s), you may dissolve the whole capsule in a small glass (about 15 mL) of water or apple juice. Do not open, break or crush the capsule. Leave it in the liquid for at least 10 minutes, then stir for about 3 minutes to disperse the capsule shells. Once it is dissolved, drink the suspension immediately. Rinse the glass with another 15 mL of water or apple juice, swirl a few times, and then drink. This is to make sure that no medicine is left behind in the glass.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition and response to the medication.
Lenvatinib 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 you miss a dose and it is 12 hours or more until the next dose is due, take the missed dose as soon as you remember and return to your normal dosing schedule.
If it is less than 12 hours until the next dose is due, 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 have a fistula (abnormal connection between two body parts) as Lenvatinib may not be suitable for you.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine and for at least 1 week after stopping the treatment.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- high blood pressure
- heart problems
- history of aneurysm (weakness and bulging of the blood vessel wall)
- history of stroke or heart attack within the past 6 months
- recent surgery or radiation therapy
- dehydration (excessive water loss from the body)
- low blood volume or fluid circulating in the body
- low magnesium, potassium or calcium levels in the blood
- severe liver disease
- severe kidney disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon.
It is important that you do not get pregnant while taking this medicine. You must use proven birth control methods during Lenvatinib therapy and for at least 1 month after stopping the treatment. Birth control medicines containing hormones may not be effective. You may wish to discuss other reliable methods of birth control with your doctor.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to the elderly. Elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
If you are going to have an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Lenvatinib.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Pregnancy tests must be done before treatment to know if this medicine is suited for you to take.
- Your blood pressure may rise to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure regularly during treatment.
- Routine tests (e.g. liver/kidney/thyroid function, electrolyte levels, dental check-up, ECG [test used to record the electrical activity of the heart]) may be done while you are being treated with Lenvatinib. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Lenvatinib may cause dizziness and tiredness. 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, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, constipation, dry mouth, hoarseness, impaired sense of taste, decreased weight and appetite, difficulty sleeping, muscle or joint pain, rash, and hair loss.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- chest pain or pressure, rapid or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, pain in your neck, back, arms or jaw, extreme tiredness, bluish colour of lips
- sudden severe headache, dizziness, confusion, numbness and weakness on 1 side of the body, difficulty speaking, changes in vision, loss of consciousness, fits or seizures
- pass out bloody stools or black as tar; coughing up of blood or ground coffee-like material
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, abdominal pain, dark coloured urine, swelling in the legs and ankles
- pain in the mouth, teeth or jaw, loosening of a tooth, numbness or heaviness of the jaw
- fever with persistent sore throat or mouth ulcers; unusual bleeding or bruising
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 medicines for irregular heartbeat e.g. quinidine, procainamide, amiodarone, sotalol.
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.
Protect from moisture.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As Lenvatinib 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.