Caprelsa

Generic Name: vandetanib (van DET a nib)
Brand Names: Caprelsa

What is Caprelsa?

Caprelsa (vandetanib) is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their spread in the body.

Caprelsa is used to treat thyroid cancer.

Caprelsa may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Do not use Caprelsa if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Before you take Caprelsa, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, heart rhythm disorder, seizures, skin problems, severe diarrhea, breathing problems, recent stomach or intestinal bleeding, a family history of Long QT syndrome, or low levels of calcium, magnesium, or potassium in your blood.

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There are many other drugs that can interact with Caprelsa. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. To be sure Caprelsa is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your heart rate may also need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Caprelsa. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time. Do not stop taking this medication unless your doctor tells you to. If you stop taking Caprelsa for longer than 2 weeks for any reason, do not start taking it again without your doctor's advice.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Caprelsa if you are allergic to vandetanib, or if you have a history of Long QT syndrome.

To make sure you can safely take Caprelsa, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • high blood pressure, heart disease, heart rhythm disorder;

  • a family history of Long QT syndrome;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • low levels of calcium, magnesium, or potassium in your blood;

  • skin problems;

  • severe diarrhea;

  • a history of breathing problems; or

  • recent stomach or intestinal bleeding.

Caprelsa is available only under a special program. You must be registered in the program and sign documents stating that you understand the risks and benefits of taking this medication.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use Caprelsa if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use effective birth control while you are using Caprelsa and for at least 4 months after your treatment ends. It is not known whether vandetanib passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking Caprelsa.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

How should I take Caprelsa?

Take Caprelsa exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

You may take Caprelsa with or without food.

Caprelsa is usually taken once per day. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Do not crush a Caprelsa tablet. Swallow the tablet whole. Crushing the tablet may cause your body to absorb too much of the drug at one time. The medicine from a crushed or broken tablet can be dangerous if it gets on your skin. If this occurs, wash your skin with soap and water and rinse thoroughly.

To make swallowing easier, place the Caprelsa tablet into a glass of water (2 ounces) and allow the tablet to disperse in the water. The tablet will not dissolve completely. Drink this mixture right away. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more liquid to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

To be sure Caprelsa is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your heart rate may also need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). Visit your doctor regularly. If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Caprelsa. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time. Do not stop taking this medication unless your doctor tells you to. If you stop taking Caprelsa for longer than 2 weeks for any reason, do not start taking it again without your doctor's advice.

Store Caprelsa at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if your next dose is less than 12 hours away. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid?

Caprelsa may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Caprelsa can make you sunburn more easily, for up to 4 months after you stop taking the medicine. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Caprelsa side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Caprelsa: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Caprelsa and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • slow healing of a wound or surgical incision;

  • severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • fever, chest pain, dry cough, wheezing, trouble breathing;

  • feeling short of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder;

  • severe or ongoing diarrhea;

  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;

  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • confusion, vision problems, headache, seizure (convulsions), problems with thinking;

  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden headache, confusion, problems with speech or balance;

  • thyroid symptoms -- extreme tired feeling, dry skin, joint pain or stiffness, muscle pain or weakness, hoarse voice, feeling more sensitive to cold temperatures, weight gain; or

  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious Caprelsa side effects may include:

  • mild feeling tired;

  • headache;

  • mild nausea or stomach pain;

  • diarrhea;

  • mild skin rash; or

  • acne.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Caprelsa Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Thyroid Cancer:

Initial Caprelsa dose: 300 mg orally once daily. Treatment should continue until the patient no longer benefits from therapy or unacceptable toxicity occurs.

What other drugs will affect Caprelsa?

Many drugs can interact with Caprelsa. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • arsenic trioxide (Trisenox);

  • bosentan (Tracleer);

  • dexamethasone (Cortastat, Dexasone, Solurex, DexPak);

  • St. John's wort;

  • tacrolimus (Prograf);

  • an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam), rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate), or rifapentine (Priftin);

  • an antidepressant such as amitriptylline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), clomipramine (Anafranil), or desipramine (Norpramin);

  • anti-malaria medications such as chloroquine (Aralen) or mefloquine (Lariam);

  • a barbiturate such as butabarbital (Butisol), secobarbital (Seconal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), or phenobarbital (Solfoton);

  • heart rhythm medicine such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), dofetilide (Tikosyn), disopyramide (Norpace), dronedarone (Multaq), ibutilide (Corvert), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), propafenone (Rythmol), quinidine (Quin-G), or sotalol (Betapace);

  • HIV medication such as efavirenz (Sustiva, Atripla), etravirine (Intelence), nevirapine (Viramune), or ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra);

  • medicine to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting such as dolasetron (Anzemet), droperidol (Inapsine), or ondansetron (Zofran);

  • medicines to treat narcolepsy, such as armodafinil (Nuvigil) or modafinil (Progivil);

  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), clozapine (FazaClo, Clozaril), haloperidol (Haldol), pimozide (Orap), thioridazine (Mellaril), or ziprasidone (Geodon);

  • migraine headache medicine such as sumatriptan (Imitrex, Treximet) or zolmitriptan (Zomig);

  • narcotic medication such as methadone (Methadose, Diskets, Dolophine); or

  • seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol), felbamate (Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), phenytoin (Dilantin), or primidone (Mysoline).

This list is not complete and there are many other drugs that can interact with Caprelsa. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Caprelsa.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Caprelsa only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.01. Revision Date: 7/7/2011 2:42:04 PM.

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