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Generic name: cabozantinib [ KA-boe-ZAN-ti-nib ]
Brand names: Cabometyx, Cometriq
Dosage forms: oral capsule (20 mg (60 mg daily-dose), 80 mg-20 mg (100 mg daily-dose), 80 mg-20 mg (140 mg daily-dose)), ... show all 4 dosage forms
Drug classes: Multikinase inhibitors, VEGF/VEGFR inhibitors

Medically reviewed by on Aug 23, 2022. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is cabozantinib?

Cabometyx is used to treat advanced kidney cancer, sometimes in combination with another medicine called nivolumab.

Cabometyx is also used to treat liver cancer in people who have been previously treated with sorafenib. Cabometyx can also be used to treat thyroid cancer in people 12 years and older.

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

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

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.

Cabozantinib may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

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

Common side effects of cabozantinib may include:

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 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:

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. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. 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.

When used with Cabometyx, nivolumab is usually given as an infusion into a vein once every 2 to 4 weeks.

Your blood pressure, thyroid, and liver function may 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?

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 cabozantinib?

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

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

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.

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

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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.