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Sorafenib (Nexavar®)

Sorafenib

Brand Name: Nexavar®

Sorafenib is used to treat renal cell carcinoma, a type of cancer that begins in the kidneys, and hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer.

Sorafenib belongs to a class of drugs called multikinase inhibitors. Kinases are enzymes that have many functions inside a cell, including sending a signal to multiply. Sorafenib blocks the activity of kinases, which stops or slows the growth of cancer.

This medication comes as a tablet that is taken by mouth. Usually, sorafenib is taken twice daily, without food, either 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal. It’s best to take sorafenib at the same time each day. The tablets should be swallowed whole, and should not be split, chewed, or crushed. The exact dose and duration of treatment may vary depending on several factors, including how well the drug is working, how well your body is tolerating the treatment, and what other medications you are taking. Your doctor will recommend the approach that is best for you.

Sorafenib side effects

To prevent problematic interactions between sorafenib and other drugs, be sure to tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications, and what other medications and supplements you are currently taking. You should also inform your doctor if you have or ever had a liver tumor, liver disease, or kidney disease, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding. If you have dental work and/or surgery during treatment, be sure to tell your dentist and/or doctor that you are taking sorafenib.

Possible side effects may include:

  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Rash, skin redness
  • Hair loss
  • Itching
  • Dry or peeling skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Mouth sores
  • Weight loss
  • Numbness, pain, or tingling in hands or feet
  • Headache

Some of sorafenib’s side effects can be serious. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Black and/or tarry stools
  • Red blood in stools
  • Vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds
  • Fever
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Profuse sweating
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Confusion
  • Vision changes
  • Seizure
  • Redness, pain, swelling, or blisters on palms of hands or soles of feet

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. Patients may experience additional effects not mentioned above.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), your team of cancer experts will explain each of the side effects of sorafenib with you in detail, as well as the side effects and expectations of all other medications planned as part of your individualized treatment plan.

Sorafenib for cancer treatment

Sorafenib is approved by the FDA for the following cancer treatments:

  • As a single agent for the treatment of liver cancer hepatocellular carcinoma that cannot be surgically removed
  • As a single agent for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma

At CTCA, our integrative approach to cancer treatment works to fight your disease on all fronts and ensures that you remain at the center of everything we do. We encourage participation from both you and your family to make certain you are comfortable with all decisions made regarding your treatment.

The information provided here is for educational purposes only. In no way should it be considered as offering medical advice. Cancer Treatment Centers of America assumes no responsibility for how this material is used. Please check with a physician if you suspect you are ill. Also note that while Cancer Treatment Centers of America frequently updates its contents, medical information changes rapidly. Therefore, some information may be out of date.

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