Cabozantinib (brand name – Cabometyx, Cometriq) is an FDA-approved treatment for kidney, ovaries, liver, and thyroid cancers. It is used in combination with nivolumab (Opdivo) to treat kidney cancers. Cabozantinib is used in adults and children 12 years of age and older for cancers that have spread to nearby tissues or other parts of the body.
Cabozantinib 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 the key things you need to know about Cabozantinib.
How should I take cabozantinib (Cabometyx)?
Cabozantinib comes as a tablet (Cabometyx) and a capsule (Cometriq) to be taken on an empty stomach through the mouth once a day. It is usually taken at least 1 hour before and 2 hours after eating. Take cabozantinib at around the same time every day.
Take cabozantinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes. Swallow the tablets and capsules whole with a full glass (8 ounces, 240 mL) of water. Do not split, chew, crush, or open them.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about how you feel during your treatment with cabozantinib. Do not stop taking Cabozantinib without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of cabozantinib or Cabometyx?
Common Side effects
- dysphagia (Painful swallowing)
- abnormal taste (Dysgeusia)
- redness, swelling, sores, or pain in your mouth or throat
- appetite loss
- weight loss
- diarrhea (dysentery)
- sudden severe headache
- tiredness or weakness
- tender or painful stomach area
- numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg on one side of your body
- sudden trouble walking
- sudden vision problems
- sweating more than usual
- jaw pain
- swelling around eyes, arms, hands, legs, feet, or ankles
- pale skin
- swollen or painful gums
- redness, pain, swelling, or blistering on the palms or the soles
- muscle stiffness or spasms
- sudden weight gain
- numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or around the mouth
- dry skin
- patchy thickening of the skin
- pain in joints, arms, or legs
- voice changes or hoarseness
- hair loss
- hair color turning lighter or gray
- slowed wound healing
Serious side effects
- chest Pain, pressure, or tightness
- coughing up blood or blood clots
- vomiting material that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds
- menstrual bleeding that is heavier than usual
- red or black, tarry stool
- nose bleed
- unusual or heavy bleeding or bruising
- foamy urine
- shortness of breath or cough
- trouble breathing
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- lightheadedness or fainting
- sudden difficulty thinking or speaking clearly
- sudden difficulty with balance or coordination
- loosening of the teeth
Cabozantinib 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).
Use the free Ankr platform or Ankr app to track your symptoms.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking cabozantinib (Cabometyx)
- tell your doctor about your allergies
- tell your doctor about other intakes
- tell your doctor about any other disease, symptom, or treatment in past or now
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant during your treatment and for 4 months after your final dose. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods you can use during treatment.
While you are on cabozantinib (Cabometyx)
- If you become pregnant while taking cabozantinib, call your doctor immediately. Cabozantinib may harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed while you are on cabozantinib
- you should know that this medication may decrease fertility in men and women. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking cabozantinib.
- tell your doctor if you are having surgery
- you should know that cabozantinib may cause serious problems with your jaw. Talk to your doctor before any dental treatments while taking this medication.
- you should know that your blood pressure may increase during your treatment with cabozantinib.
I forgot a dose. What should I do?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is less than 12 hours until your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. 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:
- memory loss
- weight loss
How should I safely store and dispose of cabozantinib?
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
You should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, 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 drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit or any foods or supplements that contain grapefruit or grapefruit juice while you are taking this medication.
Last Revised – 03/21/2023, FDA-updated- 09/17/2021,SG
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