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Sorafenib

Generic Name: sorafenib (sor a FEN ib)
Brand Name: NexAVAR

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Dec 26, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is sorafenib?

Sorafenib is used to treat liver cancer, thyroid cancer, or kidney cancer.

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

Important Information

You should not use sorafenib if you have squamous cell lung cancer and you are being treated with carboplatin and paclitaxel.

Sorafenib can cause heart problems. Get emergency medical help if you have: chest pain, fast heartbeats, trouble breathing, or swelling around your midsection or in your lower legs.

Sorafenib can also cause severe bleeding. Call your doctor if you have blood in your urine or stools, abnormal vaginal bleeding, severe stomach pain, cough with bloody mucus, or any bleeding that will not stop.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use sorafenib if you are allergic to it, or if you have squamous cell lung cancer and you are being treated with carboplatin and paclitaxel.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure;

  • long QT syndrome (in you or a family member);

  • bleeding problems; or

  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as abnormal levels of calcium, magnesium, or potassium in your blood).

Sorafenib can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects if the mother or the father is using sorafenib.

  • If you are a woman, do not use sorafenib if you are pregnant. You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 6 months after your last dose.

  • If you are a man, use effective birth control if your sex partner is pregnant or is able to get pregnant. Keep using birth control for at least 3 months after your last dose.

  • Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using sorafenib.

Do not breast-feed while using this medicine, and for at least 2 weeks after your last dose.

How should I take sorafenib?

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

Take sorafenib on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

If you need surgery or dental work, tell the surgeon or dentist ahead of time that you are using sorafenib. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the regular time. 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 sorafenib?

sorafenib can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Sorafenib side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Get emergency medical help if you have symptoms of a heart attack or heart failure: chest pain, fast heartbeats, sweating, nausea, trouble breathing, feeling light-headed, or swelling around your midsection or in your lower legs.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness (like you might pass out);

  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);

  • heavy menstrual periods or unusual vaginal bleeding;

  • pain, redness, swelling, rash, blisters or peeling in the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet;

  • fever with nausea, vomiting, or severe stomach pain

  • any wound that will not heal;

  • liver problems--loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), nausea, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • signs of bleeding inside your body--pink or brown urine, abnormal vaginal bleeding, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Common side effects may include:

  • bleeding;

  • feeling tired;

  • vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain;

  • high blood pressure;

  • rash; or

  • weight loss, thinning hair.

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.

Sorafenib dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Renal Cell Carcinoma:

400 mg orally 2 times a day
Duration of therapy: Until the patient is no longer benefiting from therapy or until unacceptable toxicity occurs

Comments:
-This drug should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food.
-The tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water.

Uses:
-Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC): For patients with unresectable HCC
-Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC): For patients with advanced RCC
-Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma (DTC): For patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive, DTC that is refractory to radioactive iodine treatment

Usual Adult Dose for Thyroid Cancer:

400 mg orally 2 times a day
Duration of therapy: Until the patient is no longer benefiting from therapy or until unacceptable toxicity occurs

Comments:
-This drug should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food.
-The tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water.

Uses:
-Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC): For patients with unresectable HCC
-Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC): For patients with advanced RCC
-Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma (DTC): For patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive, DTC that is refractory to radioactive iodine treatment

Usual Adult Dose for Hepatocellular Carcinoma:

400 mg orally 2 times a day
Duration of therapy: Until the patient is no longer benefiting from therapy or until unacceptable toxicity occurs

Comments:
-This drug should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food.
-The tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water.

Uses:
-Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC): For patients with unresectable HCC
-Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC): For patients with advanced RCC
-Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma (DTC): For patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive, DTC that is refractory to radioactive iodine treatment

What other drugs will affect sorafenib?

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 sorafenib, 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.

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