Sorafenib (brand name- Nexavar) is an FDA-approved treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC; a type of cancer that begins in the kidneys). It is also used to treat hepatocellular carcinoma (a type of liver cancer) that cannot be treated with surgery and a certain type of thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be treated with radioactive iodine.
Sorafenib 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 stop the spread of cancer cells.
Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about sorafenib.
How should I take sorafenib (Nexavar)?
Sorafenib comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day. Sorafenib is taken without food, 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Take sorafenib at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
Take sorafenib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Swallow the tablets whole with water. Do not split, chew, or crush them.
Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment with sorafenib. Continue to take sorafenib even if you feel well. Do not stop taking sorafenib without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of sorafenib (Nexavar) ?
Common side effects
- skin redness
- hair loss
- excessive itching (pruritus)
- dry or peeling skin
- appetite loss
- diarrhea (dysentery)
- dry Mouth (xerostomia)
- weight loss
- joint Pain (arthralgia)
- numbness, pain or tingling in hands or feet
- vomiting (emesis)
- redness, pain, swelling or blisters on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet
- skin blistering and peeling
- skin redness
- mucositis (mouth sore)
Serious side effects
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- black and/or tarry stools
- red blood in stools
- bloody vomit
- vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds
- severe abdominal pain (bellyache)
- chest pain
- shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- dizziness or fainting
- excessive sweating
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- sudden severe headache
- changes in vision
- dark urine
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
Sorafenib 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 sorafenib (Nexavar)
- tell your doctor about your allregies
- tell your doctor about other intakes
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any other disease, symptom, or treatment
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you.
While you are on sorafenib (Nexavar)
- If you become pregnant while taking sorafenib, call your doctor immediately. Sorafenib may harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You should not breastfeed while taking sorafenib and for 2 weeks after your final dose.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking sorafenib.
I forgot a dose. What should I do?
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:
How should I safely store and dispose of sorafenib (Nexavar)?
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?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Last Revised – 06/23/2023, FDA updated-02/15/2019, SG
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