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Cabozantinib Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Sep 25, 2023.

Applies to cabozantinib: oral capsule, oral tablet.

Serious side effects of Cabozantinib

Along with its needed effects, cabozantinib 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 while taking cabozantinib:

More common

Less common


Incidence not known

Other side effects of Cabozantinib

Some side effects of cabozantinib 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

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to cabozantinib: oral capsule, oral tablet.


Very common (10% or more): Elevated blood pressure (up to 96%), hypertension (up to 61%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hypotension, venous thromboembolism, arterial thromboembolism, atrial fibrillation

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Angina pectoris, supraventricular tachycardia, shortened activated partial thromboplastin time

Frequency not reported: QT interval prolongation[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Increased ALT (up to 86%), increased AST (up to 86%), increased alkaline phosphatase (up to 52%), hyperbilirubinemia (up to 25%)

Common (1% to 10%): Cholelithiasis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hepatic encephalopathy[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (up to 63%), stomatitis (up to 51%), nausea (up to 43%), oral pain (up to 36%), constipation (up to 27%), abdominal pain (up to 27%), vomiting (up to 24%), dysphagia (up to 13%), dyspepsia (up to 11%), glossodynia

Common (1% to 10%): Hemorrhoids, GI perforation, GI fistula, GI hemorrhage, pancreatitis, anal fissure, anal inflammation, cheilitis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Esophagitis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Increased blood thyroid stimulating hormone (up to 57%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Amenorrhea[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Lymphopenia (up to 53%), neutropenia (up to 35%), thrombocytopenia (up to 35%)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased eosinophil count, increased platelet count

Postmarketing reports: Arterial (including aortic) aneurysms, dissections, and rupture[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (up to 50%), hair color changes/depigmentation/graying (up to 34%), rash (up to 19%), dry skin (up to 19%), alopecia (up to 16%), erythema (up to 11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hyperkeratosis, folliculitis, acne, blister, abnormal hair growth, skin exfoliation, skin hypopigmentation

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Skin ulcer, telangiectasia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Decreased weight (up to 48%), decreased appetite (up to 46%), hypocalcemia (up to 52%), hypophosphatemia (up to 28%), hypomagnesemia (up to 19%), hypokalemia (up to 18%), hyponatremia (up to 10%), increased blood lactate dehydrogenase, increased blood creatinine phosphokinase

Common (1% to 10%): Dehydration, hypoalbuminemia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (up to 41%), asthenia (up to 21%), mucosal inflammation

Common (1% to 10%): Abscess (including visceral, intra-abdominal, skin, tooth), fungal infection (including skin, oral, genital), ear pain, tinnitus, pallor, peripheral coldness, impaired wound healing/wound complications, chills, face edema

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Aspergilloma, hypoacusis, cyst, facial pain, localized edema

Frequency not reported: Hemorrhage[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Dysgeusia (up to 34%), headache (up to 18%), dizziness (up to 14%)

Common (1% to 10%): Paresthesia, peripheral sensory neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, ageusia, tremor

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome, ataxia, attention disturbance, loss of consciousness, speech disorder, transient ischemic attack[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Arthralgia (up to 14%), muscle spasms (up to 12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Musculoskeletal chest pain, osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Rhabdomyolysis[Ref]


Patients should be closely monitored for the first 8 weeks as most adverse events have occurred early in the course of treatment.


Common (1% to 10%): Proteinuria, dysuria, hematuria

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Vaginal hemorrhage[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Blurred vision

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Cataract, conjunctivitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Anxiety, depression, confusional state

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal dreams, delirium[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Dysphonia (up to 20%), oropharyngeal pain

Common (1% to 10%): Non-GI fistula (including tracheal, pneumomediastinum, tracheo-esophageal), pulmonary embolism, respiratory tract hemorrhage (including pulmonary, bronchial, tracheal), pneumonia, pneumonia aspiration

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Atelectasis, pharyngeal edema, pneumonitis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Acute renal failure[Ref]

Frequently asked questions


1. Product Information. Cometriq (cabozantinib). Exelixis Inc. 2012.

2. Product Information. Cabometyx (cabozantinib). Exelixis Inc. 2016.

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.