Sunitinib

Sunitinib (Sutent, su11248) is prescribed to treat GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumor), the tumor’s type that grows in the patient’s esophagus,  Sunitinibstomach or intestine in individuals, whose tumor wasn’t treated successfully with Gleevec (Imatinib) or individuals who can’t tolerate Imatinib.

Sunitinib (Sutent) is also prescribed for the treatment of an advanced RCC (renal carcinoma cells) – the cancer’s type that starts in the kidney’s cells. Sunitinib (Sutent) belongs to the Multikinase inhibitors group. It works by blocking the abnormal protein actions, which signal tumor’s cells to spread (metastasize).  It helps slow or stop the cancer cells to multiple and can help shrink the tumor.

Sunitinib (Sutent, su11248) comes in form of capsules and used by mouth without or with meals. It’s generally used 1 per day for the period of 28 days (4 weeks). followed by a two weeks interval before starting the next using cycle. The patient must use this medication daily at the same time. Everybody must carefully follow the instructions written on the prescription label and to not take less or more of Sunitinib (Sutent) more frequently than prescribed by his/her physician or oncologist.

An individual should swallow a capsule whole – never crush, chew or split. Never open the capsule. You may require to take 1 or more Sonitinib (Sutent, su11248)  capsules at a time, depending on the dose your doctor prescribed. The physician can slowly lower or increase the Sunitinib (Sutent) dosage at the time of the treatment. It depends on how well this drug works for the patient and on the side effects the person experiences. The patient always must discuss with his/her doctor about feeling at a time of the treatment. The person should continue to use Sunitinib even if he/she feels good. Never stop using medication without doctor’s approval.

This medicine can also be used for other diseases – the patients should ask their doctor for more info. Before using Sunitinib (Sutent, su11248):

1. Inform your physician if you have allergy to Mannitol, Sunitinib and other drugs.

2. Inform your physician and pharmacist, which herbal remedies you use, especially, StT. John Wort. Your doctor might ask you to stop use of St. John’s Wort products while you are on Sunitinib (Sutent).

3. Let your physician or pharmacist know which over-the-counter and prescription vitamins, drugs and nutritional products you plan to use or are using. Don’t forget to mention any of the following medications: Specific antibiotics including Biaxin in Prevpac (Claritromycin), Avelox (Moxifloxacin), Erythromycin (Erythrocin, E-mycin, EES), Rifadin (Rifampin, Rimactane), Avelox (Moxifiloxacin), Priftin (Rifapentine), Mycobutin (Rifabutin), Zagam (Sparfloxacin), Tao (Troleandomycin), and Ketek (Teliithromycin). Tell your doctor if you use such Anticoagulants (blood thinners) as Coumadin (Warfarin); Antifungals including Nisoral (ketoconazole), Sporanox (Itraconazole), and Vfend (Voriconazole); specific calcium channel blockers such as Tiazac, Dilacor, Ardizem (Dilitiazem), Avastin (Bevacizumab) and Verapamil (Verelan, Isoptin, Calan); Propulsid (cisapride); Tagament (Cimetidine); Mymethasone (Dexamethasone); specific anti-depression medicines such as Nefazodone or Fluvoxamine; specific drugs for the treatment of aids or HIV including Crixivan (Indinavir), Reyataz Atazanavir, Ritonavir, Viracept (Nelfinavir) and Invirase (Saquinavir); drugs for irregular heartbeat treatment such as Norpace (disopyramide), Cordarone (Amiodarone), Norpace (Disopyramide), Procainamide (Pronestyl, Procanbid); Likosin (Dotetilide), Quinidex (Quinidine), Sotalol (Betapace), and Procainamide (Pronestyl, Procanbid); some medications for the treatment of seizures, such as Phenytoin, Phenobarbital and Carbamazepine (tegretol, equetro, carbatrol); Mellaril (Thioridazine), and Orap (Pimozide). Other drugs might also interact with Sunitinib (Sutent) medication, so, you should tell your physician to monitor you carefully for adverse reactions or changing the dose of your medications.

4. Inform your physician if you have ever had or having bleeding disorders; seizures; heart bypass procedure; chest pain (Angina); irregular, fast or slow heartbeat; heart failure; heart attack; high blood pressure; stroke ot TIA (transient ischemic attack, mini-stroke); thyroid, liver, kidney, or heart diseases.

5. Let your doctor to know if you are breast feeding. You can’t breast-feed while using Sunitinib (Sutent), because this medication passes through the milk and can damage your infant’s health.

6. Everyone must know that Sunitinib (Sutent) can result in high blood pressure. Your blood pressure must be monitored on regular basis.

7. If you are having an operation, including a dental one, let your dentist or doctor know that you use Sunitinib (Sutent).

8. You must know that this medicine can result in your hair to lose color and make it lighten and your skin to become yellow. While using Sunitinib (Sutent) – don’t drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit. If you missed your dosage – take it as soon as you remember, but if it nearly time to take next dose, skip missed one and continue to take this medication on regular basis. Never take double dosage to make up missed dose. Let know your physician about missed one. Sunitinib (Sutent) side effects may include: weakness; extreme tiredness; vomiting; nausea; constipation; diarrhea; gas; heartburn; dry mouth; burning, irritation, or pain sensation of the throat, mouth, tongue or lips; hair loss; weight loss; appetite loss; taste changes; speech changes; depression; brittle, thin hair or fingernails; rash; skin blistering, cracking, thickness;  dryness on the feet soles and hand palm; muscles or limbs ache; unusual discomfort in cold conditions; tingling, numbness, burning, or pain in the feet or hand. Severe side effects include: chills; fever; unusual bleeding or bruising; red blood in stool; tarry and black stool; stomach swelling or ache; bloody vomit; breath shortness; weight gain; vomit that appears as coffee ground; staying asleep or difficulties falling asleep; abrupt severe leg, stomach, back ache; increased urination; coughing up of bloody or pink mucus; pounding, irregular or rapid heartbeat; redness, warmth, tenderness or swelling of legs. You have to seek prompt medical help if you experience any of these side effects.

Keep Sunitinib (Sutent) capsules in the existing bottle or container, out of reach of the children, tightly closed. Keep it at room temperature far away from moisture and heat. Don’t store any medications in the bathroom. In overdose cases, call your local poison control center or 911 promptly.

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