Generic Name: Vandetanib (van DET a nib)
Brand Name: Caprelsa
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Nov 15, 2020.
- This medicine may cause a prolonged QT interval (a type of heartbeat that is not normal). If this happens, the chance of other unsafe abnormal heartbeats may be raised. Sudden deaths have happened in people taking Caprelsa (vandetanib). Do not take Caprelsa (vandetanib) if you have low calcium, potassium, or magnesium levels or if you have ever had a long QT on ECG. Your heartbeat will be watched often with an ECG. Talk with your doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Do not take Caprelsa (vandetanib) if you are taking certain other drugs, including any drugs that can raise the chance of a prolonged QT interval (a type of heartbeat that is not normal). There are many drugs that interact with Caprelsa (vandetanib). Talk with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure it is safe to take Caprelsa (vandetanib) with all of your drugs.
Uses of Caprelsa:
- It is used to treat thyroid cancer.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Caprelsa?
- If you have an allergy to vandetanib or any other part of Caprelsa (vandetanib).
- If you are allergic to Caprelsa (vandetanib); any part of Caprelsa (vandetanib); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have liver disease.
- If you have ever had any of these health problems: A heartbeat that is not normal, slow heartbeat, or weak heart (heart failure).
- If you have recently thrown up blood.
- If you are taking rifampin.
- If you are taking any drugs used for a heartbeat that is not normal.
- If you are taking St. John's wort. Do not take St. John's wort with Caprelsa (vandetanib). This medicine may not work as well.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take Caprelsa (vandetanib) or for 4 months after your last dose.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Caprelsa (vandetanib).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Caprelsa (vandetanib) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Caprelsa?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Caprelsa (vandetanib). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Caprelsa (vandetanib) affects you.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly brain problem called posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) has happened with Caprelsa (vandetanib). Call your doctor right away if you have signs like feeling confused, lowered alertness, change in eyesight, loss of eyesight, seizures, or very bad headache.
- Heart failure has happened with Caprelsa (vandetanib), as well as heart failure that has gotten worse in people who already have it. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Tell your doctor if you have heart disease. Call your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath, a big weight gain, a heartbeat that is not normal, or swelling in the arms or legs that is new or worse.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly brain blood vessel problems have happened with Caprelsa (vandetanib). Talk with your doctor.
- Low white blood cell counts have happened with Caprelsa (vandetanib). This may lead to a higher chance of getting an infection. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor. Rarely, some bleeding problems have been deadly.
- Call your doctor right away if you have any signs of bleeding problems, like bruising; black, tarry, or bloody stools; bleeding gums; blood in the urine; coughing up blood; cuts that take a long time to stop bleeding; feel dizzy; feeling very tired or weak; nosebleeds; pain or swelling; throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; or very bad headache.
- If you get diarrhea, you will need to make sure to avoid getting dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids and watch for weight loss. Talk with your doctor.
- High blood pressure has happened with Caprelsa (vandetanib). Have your blood pressure checked as you have been told by your doctor.
- You may get sunburned more easily while taking Caprelsa (vandetanib) and for 4 months after your last dose. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
- This medicine may affect fertility. Fertility problems may lead to not being able to get pregnant or father a child.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
- If you are able to get pregnant, a pregnancy test will be done to show that you are NOT pregnant before starting Caprelsa (vandetanib). Talk with your doctor.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking Caprelsa (vandetanib) and for 4 months after your last dose.
- If you get pregnant while taking Caprelsa (vandetanib) or within 4 months after your last dose, call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Caprelsa) best taken?
Use Caprelsa (vandetanib) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Keep taking Caprelsa (vandetanib) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Take with or without food.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- If needed, you may put your dose in 2 ounces (60 mL) of water. Mix for 10 minutes or until the drug is in very small pieces and drink. This drug will not dissolve all the way. Rinse the cup with 4 ounces (120 mL) of water and drink.
- If the tablet is crushed or broken, do not touch the contents. If you do touch the contents or get it in your eyes, wash hands or eyes right away.
- If you have upset stomach, throwing up, diarrhea, or are not hungry, talk with your doctor. There may be ways to lower these side effects.
- Those who have feeding tubes may use Caprelsa (vandetanib). Use as you have been told. Flush the feeding tube after Caprelsa (vandetanib) is given.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is less than 12 hours until the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of low thyroid levels like constipation; not able to handle cold; memory problems; mood changes; or a burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Signs of electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, seizures, not hungry, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
- Change in how you act.
- Low mood (depression).
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Severe diarrhea.
- Diarrhea that will not go away.
- Change in eyesight.
- Pimples (acne).
- Dry skin.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
- Some people have had lung problems with Caprelsa (vandetanib). Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of lung problems like shortness of breath or other trouble breathing, cough that is new or worse, or fever.
What are some other side effects of Caprelsa?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Hair loss.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Belly pain.
- Not hungry.
- Dry mouth.
- Change in nails.
- Change in taste.
- Muscle spasm.
- Signs of a common cold.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Caprelsa?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Caprelsa (vandetanib) is refilled. If you have any questions about Caprelsa (vandetanib), please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about Caprelsa (vandetanib)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- Drug class: EGFR inhibitors
- FDA Approval History