Axitinib is the generic name for the trade name
drug Inlyta®. In some cases, health care professionals may use the
trade name Inlyta® when referring to the generic drug name axitinib.
Drug Type :
Axitinib is a targeted therapy and is a receptor
protein-kinase inhibitor. It inhibits the actions of vascular growth
factor (VEGF) and is an angiogenesis inhibitor. (For more detail, see How
Axitinib Works below)
What Axitinib Is Used For :
- Treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma after the failure of
one prior systemic therapy.
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to
use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.
How Axitinib Is Given :
Axitinib Side effects :
- Axitinib is given as a pill by mouth.
- Swallow whole with a full glass of water.
- Can be taken with or without food.
- The amount of axitinib that you will receive depends on many
factors, including your general health or other health problems, and
the type of cancer or condition you have. Your doctor will determine
your exact dosage and schedule.
Important things to remember about the side effects of axitinib :
The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than
30%) for patients taking axitin
- Most people will not experience all of the axitinib side effects
- Axitinib side effects are often predictable in terms of their
onset, duration, and severity.
- Axitinib side effects will improve after therapy is complete.
- Axitinibside effects may be quite manageable. There are many
options to minimize or prevent the side effects of axitinib.
These are less common (occurring in 10-29%) side effects for
patients receiving axitinib :
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- This can be the development of high blood pressure or the
worsening of pre-existing high blood pressure.
- Loss of appetite
- Dysphonia (hoarse or soft voice)
- Decrease in kidney function(increase in creatinine blood test)
- Anemia (decrease in red blood cells)
Rare (2-3%) but serious side effects include :
- Hand-foot syndrome (Palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia or PPE)
skin rash, swelling, redness, pain and/or peeling of the skin on the
palms of hands and soles of feet.
- Weight loss
- Heartburn (also referred to as dyspepsia)
- Hypothyroidism (Decreased thyroid function)
- Bleeding events
- A tear in your stomach or intestinal wall (referred to as a
- Blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary
embolus. You should seek emergency help and notify your health care
provider immediately if you develop sudden chest pain and shortness
of breath. Notify your health care provider within 24 hours if you
notice that one leg is swollen, red, painful and/or warm to touch
and the other is not.
- Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS). This is
a very rare condition that can happen while taking Inlyta. Symptoms
include headache, seizure, confusion, blindness or change in vision,
or problems thinking.
Not all side effects are listed above. Side effects that are very rare
-- occurring in less than about 10 percent of patients -- are not listed
here. But you should always inform your health care provider if you
experience any unusual symptoms.
When to Contact Your Doctor or Health Care Provider :
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you
should experience any of the following symptoms :
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an
emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing
any of the following :
- Blood pressure readings that is very high, including the systolic
BP (top number) higher than 160 or the diastolic number (bottom
number) higher than 100.
- Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher, chills (possible
signs of infection)
- Blood pressure readings that is high, including the systolic BP
(top number) higher than 150 or the diastolic number (bottom number)
higher than 90. Your physician may give you different guidelines
regarding when to call about blood pressure readings. If so, follow
- Swelling, redness and/or pain in one leg or arm and not the other
(may be signs and symptoms of blood clot)
- Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with
- Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
- Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools
- Blood in the urine
- Pain or burning with urination
- Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
- Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers)
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual
Axitinib Precautions :
Axitinib Self-Care Tips :
- Before starting axitinib treatment, make sure you tell your
doctor about any other medications you are taking (including
prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.). Do
not take aspirin, products containing aspirin unless your doctor
specifically permits this.
- Common drug interactions with Inlyta include dexamethasone
(Decadron), St. Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum).
- Avoid grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
- For both men and women: Use contraceptives, and do not conceive a
child (get pregnant) while taking axaxitinib. Barrier methods of
contraception, such as condoms, are recommended.
- Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may
be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. Pregnancy category D
(may be hazardous to the fetus. Women who are pregnant or become
pregnant must be advised of the potential hazard to the fetus.) This
drug must not be given to a pregnant woman or a woman who intends to
become pregnant. If a woman becomes pregnant while taking Inlyta,
the medication must be stopped immediately and the woman given
- Do not breast feed while taking axitinib.
- Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours,
unless you are instructed otherwise.
- Follow regimen of anti-diarrhea medication as prescribed by your
health care professional.
- Eat foods that may help reduce diarrhea (see managing side
effects - diarrhea).
- Monitor your blood pressure as recommended by your physician.
Call your doctor if you develop new high blood pressure or worsening
of pre-existing high blood pressure.
- You may be at risk of infection so wash your hands often.
- Report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your
health care provider.
- Be sure to take good care of your mouth and teeth. Use a soft
toothbrush, and rinse three times a day with 1 teaspoon of baking
soda mixed with 8 ounces of water.
- Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
- Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
- To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by
your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a
minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition.
- If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss
them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications
and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such