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Generic name: cabozantinibKA-boe-ZAN-ti-nib ]
Brand names: Cabometyx, Cometriq
Drug classes: Multikinase inhibitors, VEGF/VEGFR inhibitors

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Sep 22, 2022.

What is Cometriq?

Cometriq is a kinase inhibitor that interferes with the growth of some cancer cells.

Cometriq is a prescription medicine used to treat thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

The Cabometyx brand of cabozantinib is used to treat advanced kidney cancer and liver cancer in people who have been previously treated with sorafenib (Nexavar).


Cometriq may cause a perforation (a hole or tear) or a fistula (an abnormal passageway) within your stomach or intestines. Cometriq can also increase your risk of serious bleeding.

Call your doctor if you have: severe stomach pain, choking or gagging when you eat or drink, unusual bleeding, bloody or tarry stools, heavy menstrual bleeding, or if you cough up blood.

Before taking this medicine

To make sure Cometriq is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • a low calcium level in your blood (hypocalcemia);

  • an open wound on your skin (or a wound that is still healing);

  • bleeding problems (such as bloody or tarry stools, or coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds);

  • high blood pressure;

  • liver disease; or

  • a pre-existing dental problem.

You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment.

Cabozantinib may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 4 months after your last dose. Tell your doctor if you think you might be pregnant.

Cometriq may affect fertility (ability to have children) in both men and women. However, it is important to use birth control to prevent pregnancy because cabozantinib can harm an unborn baby.

You should not breastfeed while using Cometriq, and for at least 4 months after your last dose.

How should I take Cometriq?

Take Cometriq exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

Do not use cabozantinib tablets in place of cabozantinib capsules. Take only the pill form your doctor has prescribed. Avoid medication errors by always checking the medicine you receive at the pharmacy.

Take Cometriq on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after you eat anything.

Do not take this medicine with food.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

Do not open a Cometriq capsule. Swallow the capsule whole.

Your blood pressure, thyroid, and liver function may need to be checked often.

If you need surgery or dental work, stop taking Cometriq at least 3 weeks ahead of time. After a surgery or dental procedure, you may need to wait 2 weeks before you start taking Cometriq again. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

If you have stopped taking Cometriq for any reason, talk with your doctor before you start taking it again.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Thyroid Cancer:

Capsules: 140 mg orally once a day until patient no longer experiences clinical benefit or unacceptable toxicity occurs

Use: For progressive metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if your next dose is due in less than 12 hours. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid while taking Cometriq?

Grapefruit may interact with cabozantinib and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products while taking Cometriq.

Avoid taking an herbal supplement containing St. John's wort.

Cometriq side effects

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

Cometriq may cause a perforation (a hole or tear) or a fistula (an abnormal passageway) within your stomach or intestines. Call your doctor if you have severe stomach pain, or if you feel like you are choking and gagging when you eat or drink.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears;

  • vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation that are severe and ongoing;

  • swelling in your hands, arms, legs, or feet;

  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums, heavy menstrual bleeding, or any bleeding that will not stop);

  • bloody or tarry stools, cough with bloody mucus or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • pain, blisters, bleeding, or severe rash in the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet;

  • confusion, thinking problems, weakness, vision changes, seizure;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • jaw pain or numbness, red or swollen gums, loose teeth, or slow healing after dental work;

  • low blood calcium - muscle spasms or contractions, numbness or tingly feeling (around your mouth, or in your fingers and toes;

  • low white blood cell counts - fever, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing;

  • adrenal gland problems - nausea, vomiting, extreme tiredness, dizziness, weakness, fainting; or

  • signs of a stroke or blood clot - sudden numbness or weakness on one side of your body, problems with vision or balance, trouble speaking or understanding what is said to you, chest pain, trouble breathing, swelling or pain in an arm or leg.

Your future doses of Cometriq may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.

Common Cometriq side effects may include:

  • tiredness, depressed mood, dry skin, thinning hair, decreased sweating, weight gain, puffiness in your face, feeling more sensitive to cold temperatures;

  • stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation;

  • pain, redness, swelling, or sores in your mouth or throat;

  • trouble speaking, changes in taste;

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough;

  • rash;

  • pain in your muscles, bones, and joints;

  • abnormal liver function tests or other blood tests;

  • feeling tired;

  • weight loss; or

  • hair color turning lighter.

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.

What other drugs will affect Cometriq?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Other drugs may interact with cabozantinib, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Cometriq only for the indication prescribed.

Popular FAQ

Cabometyx (cabozantinib) is taken until disease progression - the cancer starts to get worse - or you can no longer tolerate therapy because of the side effects or adverse reactions.

In clinical trials the median amount of time patients took Cabometyx for before their cancer progressed was:

  • METEOR trial - 7.4 months (95% CI 5.6, 9.1)
  • CABOSUN trial - 8.6 months (95% CI 6.8, 14.0)
  • CELESTIAL trial - 5.2 months (95% CI 4.0, 5.5)
  • CHECKMATE-9ER trial - 16.6 months (95% CI 12.5, 24.9)
  • COSMIC-311 - 11 months (95% CI 7.4, 13.8)
Continue reading

How successful Cabometyx (cabozantinib) is can be measured by how:

  • Long patients take the treatment for
  • Long patients survive for without their cancer getting worse (progression-free survival)
  • Many months patients remain alive for while taking the treatment
  • Many patients respond to the drug
Continue reading

Cabometyx (cabozantinib) does not cure advanced renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer), hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) or advanced or metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer. Instead it helps to slow the progression of cancer, potentially enabling patients to live longer. Continue reading

Cabometyx and Cometriq are two brand name drugs that both contain the same active ingredient cabozantinib, but they are not interchangeable.

Cabometyx comes in the form of a tablet (20, 40 and 60 mg) and is used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), advanced RCC as a first-line treatment in combination with nivolumab, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients who have previously been treated with sorafenib, and ocally advanced or metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer that has progressed following VEGFR-targeted therapy in people who do not respond to or are unable to take radioactive iodine.

Cometriq comes in the form of a capsule (20 and 80 mg) and is used to treat progressive metastatic medullary thyroid cancer. Continue reading

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.