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Cabozantinib

Generic Name: cabozantinib (KA boe ZAN ti nib)
Brand Name: Cabometyx, Cometriq

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Mar 30, 2020 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is cabozantinib?

Cabozantinib is used to treat advanced kidney cancer, or thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Cabozantinib is also used to treat liver cancer in people who have been previously treated with sorafenib (Nexavar).

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

Important Information

Cabozantinib may cause a perforation (a hole or tear) or a fistula (an abnormal passageway) within your stomach or intestines. Cabozantinib 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

Tell your doctor if you have:

  • 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 cabozantinib and for at least 4 months after your last dose. Tell your doctor if you think you might be pregnant.

This medicine 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 this medicine, and for at least 4 months after your last dose.

How should I take cabozantinib?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

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 cabozantinib 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 crush, chew, or break a tablet, and do not open a capsule. Swallow the pill whole.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

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

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

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use 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 cabozantinib?

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

Cabozantinib side effects

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

Cabozantinib 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:

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

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

  • heavy menstrual bleeding, or any other bleeding that will not stop;

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

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

  • confusion, headache, vision changes, thinking problems;

  • a 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;

  • heart attack symptoms--chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sweating; or

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

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

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;

  • diarrhea, constipation;

  • painful rash on your hands or feet;

  • high blood pressure;

  • feeling tired;

  • weight loss; or

  • abnormal liver function tests or other blood tests.

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.

Cabozantinib 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)

Usual Adult Dose for Renal Cell Carcinoma:

Tablets: 60 mg orally once a day until patient no longer experiences clinical benefit or unacceptable toxicity occurs

Use: For patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC)

Usual Adult Dose for Hepatocellular Carcinoma:

Tablets: 60 mg orally once a day until patient no longer experiences clinical benefit or unacceptable toxicity occurs

Use: For patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have been previously
treated with sorafenib

What other drugs will affect cabozantinib?

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 affect 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.

Further information

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions