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How long do you take Sutent before it starts to work?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Jan 16, 2023.

Official answer


Sutent is a cancer medication that is taken as an oral capsule. Sutent reaches peak blood levels within 6 to 12 hours, which is when it starts to have its effect of reducing cancer growth and spread.

In a clinical trial NCT 00075218 for Sutent they looked at the median length of time gastrointestinal stromal tumor patients had before cancer progressed (progression-free survival).

  • For patients on placebo treatment it was only six weeks before cancer progressed, whereas for patients on Sutent the median length of time before cancer progression was 24.1 weeks.
  • Therefore Sutent extended median length of time to cancer progression by 18.1 weeks.

How long does it take for Sutent to leave your body?

  • One dose of Sutent takes between 8 and 12 days before most (96%) of it to leave your body.
  • Some of the Sutent is broken down by the body into an active metabolite which takes between 16 and 23 days for most (96%) to be removed from the body.

What is Sutent?

Sutent is cancer medicine that is used to interfere with the growth and spread of cancer cells.
It used to treat these specific types of advanced or progressive tumours:

  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumor in adults after their disease has progressed with imatinib mesylate or in they are intolerant to imatinib mesylate.
  • Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma in adults.
  • Renal cell carcinoma in adults who have had a kidney removed but there is still a high risk of RCC recurring.
  • Well-differentiated advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in adult patients, which is not able to be surgically removed or when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Sutent Medication Information:
Drug Half-life Explained:

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