Axitinib (brand name- Inlyta) is an FDA-approved treatment for renal cell carcinoma (RCC, a type of cancer that begins in the cells of the kidneys). It is given by itself or combined with avelumab (Bavencio) or pembrolizumab (Keytruda) to treat advanced kidney cancer.
Axitinib is in a class of medications called kinase inhibitors. It works by blocking the action of an abnormal protein that signals cancer cells to multiply. This helps slow or stop the spread of cancer cells.
Let us walk you through all the key things you need to know about axitinib.
How should I take axitinib (Inlyta)?
Axitinib comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food two times a day. Take axitinib around the same time every day, about 12 hours apart.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take axitinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes.
Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water; do not split, chew, or crush them. If you vomit after taking axitinib, do not take another dose. Continue your regular dosing schedule.
Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment. Do not stop taking axitinib without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of axitinib or Inlyta?
Common side effects
- diarrhea (dysentery)
- swelling in hands or feet
- appetite loss (anorexia)
- abnormal taste (dysgeusia)
- weight loss
- vomiting (emesis)
- fatigue (tiredness)
- pain in the arms, back, neck, or jaw
- change in the sound of your voice
- redness, pain, numbness, tingling, or peeling of the skin on your hands and feet
- swelling, tenderness, warmth, or redness of a leg (especially on one side of the body)
- sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- joint pain
- sudden severe headache with no known cause
- muscle pain
- mucositis (mouth sore)
- stomach pain
- heartburn (GERD/acid Reflux)
- dry skin
- feeling hot or cold
- pale skin
- fast heartbeat
- hair Loss
- ringing in the ears
- wound or cut that will not heal
Serious side effects
- severe stomach pain
- shortness of breath
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- black and tarry stools
- red blood in stools
- bloody vomit
- vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds
- chest pain or pressure
- trouble speaking or understanding
- trouble walking
- loss of balance or coordination
- loss of vision
Axitinib may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication. If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking axitinib or Inlyta
- tell your doctor about your allergies
- tell your doctor about other intakes
- tell your doctor about any disease, symptom, or treatment in the past or now
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or if you plan to father a child. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you.
While you are on axitinib or Inlyta
- If you or your partner becomes pregnant while taking axitinib, call your doctor. Axitinib may harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment.
- you should know that this medication may decrease fertility in men and women
- tell your doctor if you are having surgery, including dental surgery
I forgot a dose. What should I do?
If you miss a dose of axitinib, skip that dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
In case of an emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- coughing up blood
How should I safely store and dispose of axitinib (Inlyta)?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
The best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this medication. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Last Revised – 03/07/2023, FDA updated- 05/14/2019, SG
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