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Cabozantinib (Oral)

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

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jun 20, 2023.

Uses for cabozantinib

Cabozantinib capsule is used to treat medullary thyroid cancer that has already spread to different parts of the body.

Cabozantinib tablet is used alone to treat advanced kidney cancer. It is also used in combination with nivolumab as first-line treatment for advanced kidney cancer.

Cabozantinib tablet is also used to treat a type of liver cancer, called hepatocellular carcinoma, in patients who have been previously treated with other medicines (eg, sorafenib).

Cabozantinib tablet is also used to treat differentiated thyroid cancer that has already spread to different parts of the body, in patients who can no longer be treated with radioactive iodine or not able to receive radioactive iodine, and have been previously treated with other medicines (eg, VEGFR-targeted treatment) but did not work well.

Cabozantinib is an antineoplastic (cancer) medicine. It interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed by the body.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before using cabozantinib

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of cabozantinib in children younger than 12 years of age to treat differentiated thyroid cancer or in children to treat medullary thyroid cancer, liver cancer, and advanced kidney cancer. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of cabozantinib tablets in the elderly.

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of cabozantinib capsules in the geriatric population. However, no geriatric-specific problems have been documented to date.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper use of cabozantinib

Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before taking this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of unwanted effects.

This medicine comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Do not substitute Cabometyx® tablets with cabozantinib capsules. Do not substitute Cometriq® capsules with cabozantinib tablets.

Take this medicine on an empty stomach. Do not eat for at least 2 hours before and at least 1 hour after taking this medicine.

Swallow the medicine whole with a full glass (at least 8 ounces) of water. Do not crush, break, chew, or open the capsule or tablet.

Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may increase the amount of this medicine in the blood.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

If you miss a dose of this medicine and it is less than 12 hours until your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the normal time. If you miss a dose and it is more than 12 hours until your next dose, take it as soon as possible and take your next dose at the normal time.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions while using cabozantinib

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. If you are a woman who can get pregnant, you doctor may do tests to make sure you are not pregnant before starting treatment. You should continue to use birth control during treatment with this medicine and for at least 4 months after the last dose to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Check with your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, gagging, coughing, or choking when you eat or drink. These could be symptoms of a perforation (tear) or fistula (hole) in the bowel.

This medicine may increase your risk of bleeding. Tell your doctor right away if you cough up blood or have bleeding gums, difficulty with breathing or swallowing, dizziness, increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding, nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding from cuts, red or dark brown urine, or red or black, tarry stools. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.

This medicine may increase your risk of developing blood clots. Check with your doctor right away if you have swelling and pain in your arms, legs, or stomach, chest pain, difficulty with breathing, loss of sensation, confusion, or problems with muscle control or speech.

Check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain or discomfort, nausea, pain or discomfort in your arms, jaw, back, or neck, sweating, or vomiting. These could be symptoms of a heart attack.

Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine at least 3 weeks before having surgery, including dental procedures. Wait for at least 2 weeks after major surgery, or until adequate wound healing before taking this medicine again.

Your doctor will check your blood pressure on a regular basis while you are using this medicine. You might need to monitor your blood pressure at home. Tell your doctor right away if you have a severe headache, lightheadedness, or changes in your vision.

Tell your doctor right away if you have jaw tightness, swelling, numbness, pain, or a loose tooth. This could be symptoms of a severe jaw problem.

This medicine may cause a serious skin problem called hand-foot syndrome or palmar plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome. Check with your doctor if you have a rash that does not go away or redness, pain, swelling, or blisters on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet.

Check with your doctor right away if you have dark urine, clay-colored stools, stomach pain, or yellow eyes or skin. These may be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

This medicine may cause adrenal gland problems. Check with your doctor right away if you have darkening of the skin, diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, loss of appetite, mental depression, nausea, skin rash, unusual tiredness or weakness, or vomiting.

Check with your doctor right away if you have a headache, seizures, confusion, blurred vision or other visual problems. These may be symptoms of a rare and serious brain condition called reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome.

This medicine may cause proteinuria (protein in the urine) and kidney problems. Check with your doctor right away if you have cloudy or bloody urine, high blood pressure, or swelling of the face, feet, or lower legs.

This medicine may cause hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood). Check with your doctor right away if you have confusion, difficulty in breathing, irregular heartbeats, mood or mental changes, muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, or face, numbness and tingling around the mouth, fingertips, or feet, seizures, stomach cramps, tremor, or trouble breathing. Your doctor may give you calcium supplements if needed.

Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children. Some men and women who use this medicine have become infertile (unable to have children).

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of cabozantinib

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Less common

Rare

Incidence not known

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

Available Dosage Forms:

Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent

Pharmacologic Class: Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor

Frequently asked questions

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Further information

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