Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond
Generic Name: Pazopanib
Trade Name(s): Votrient
Pazopanib is the generic name for the trade drug Votrient. In some cases,
health care professionals may use the trade name votrient when referring to
the generic drug name Pazopanib.
Pazopanib is a targeted therapy. Pazopanib is classified as a Tyrosine
Kinase inhibitor; Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) inhibitor.
(For more detail, see "How this drug works," below.)
What Pazopanib Is Used For:
Pazopanib is used for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this
same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.
How Pazopanib Is Given:
The amount of Pazopanib that you will receive depends on many factors, including
your general health or other health problems, and the type of cancer or condition
you have. Your doctor will determine your exact Pazopanib dosage and schedule.
- Pazopanib is given in tablet form to be taken by mouth on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after eating.
Important things to remember about the side effects of Pazopanib:
- Most people will not experience all of the Pazopanib side effects listed.
- Pazopanib side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, duration,
- Pazopanib side effects are almost always reversible and will go away after
therapy is complete.
- Pazopanib side effects may be quite manageable. There are many options to minimize
or prevent the side effects of Pazopanib
The following Pazopanib side effects are common (occurring in greater than
30%) for patients taking Pazopanib:
These are less common side effects (occurring in 10-29%) for patients receiving
This list includes common and less common side effects for those taking Pazopanib. Pazopanib
side effects that are very rare -- occurring in less than about 10 percent of patients
-- are not listed here. Always inform your health care provider if you experience
any unusual symptoms.
When to contact your doctor or health care provider:
Contact your doctor or health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should
experience any of the following symptoms:
- Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher, chills (possible signs of infection)
- Yellowing or jaundice of the skin or whites of the eyes
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact
your doctor or health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:
Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
- Hypertension (systolic BP > 150 (top number) or diastolic BP > 90 (bottom
Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed
Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
- Unusual bleeding
- Black or tarry stools or blood in your stools
- Blood in your urine
- Pain or burning with urination
- Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers)
Always inform your doctor or health care provider if you experience any unusual
- Before starting pazopanib treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any
other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins,
herbal remedies, etc.). While taking pazopanib,
ask your doctor before you take aspirin or products containing aspirin.
- While taking Pazopanib, do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without
your doctor’s approval.
- Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior
to starting this treatment. Pregnancy category D (may be hazardous to the fetus.
Women who are pregnant or become pregnant must be advised of the potential hazard
to the fetus.)
- For both men and women: Use contraceptives and do not conceive a child (get pregnant)
while taking Pazopanib. Barrier methods of contraception such as condoms are recommended.
- Do not breast feed while taking Pazopanib
- While taking Pazopanib, drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours,
unless you are instructed otherwise.
- Wash your hands often and after taking each dose of Pazopanib.
- To help treat/prevent mouth sores while taking pazopanib, use a soft toothbrush,
and rinse three times a day with 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 8 ounces of
- Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
- Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
- To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and
eat small, frequent meals while taking Pazopanib.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing. Pazopanib
may make you more sensitive to the sun and you may sunburn more easily.
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided
completely while you are taking Pazopanib. You should discuss this with your doctor.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition while being treated with Pazopanib.
- If you experience symptoms or side effects while being treated with Pazopanib, be
sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications
and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.
Monitoring and Testing:
You will be checked regularly by your doctor while you are taking Pazopanib
to monitor side effects and check your response to therapy. Periodic blood work
will be obtained to monitor your complete blood count (CBC) as well as the function
of other organs (such as your kidneys and liver).
How Pazopanib Works:
Pazopanib is not a chemotherapy drug but one of many "targeted therapies."
Targeted therapy is the result of about 100 years of research dedicated to understanding
the differences between cancer cells and normal cells. To date, cancer treatment
has focused primarily on killing rapidly dividing cells because one feature of cancer
cells is that divide rapidly. Unfortunately, some of our normal cells divide rapidly
too, causing multiple side effects.
Targeted therapy is about identifying other features of cancer cells. Scientists
look for specific differences in the cancer cells and the normal cells. This information
is used to create a targeted therapy to attack the cancer cells without damaging
the normal cells, thus leading to fewer side effects. Each type of targeted therapy
works a little bit differently but all interfere with the ability of the cancer
cell to grow, divide, repair and/or communicate with other cells.
There are different types of targeted therapies, defined in three broad categories.
Some targeted therapies focus on the internal components and function of the cancer
cell. The targeted therapies use small molecules that can get into the cell and
disrupt the function of the cells, causing them to die. There are several types
of targeted therapy that focus on the inner parts of the cells. Other targeted therapies
target receptors that are on the outside of the cell. Therapies that target
receptors are also known as monoclonal antibodies. Antiangiogenesis
inhibitors target the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the cells, ultimately
causing the cells to starve.
Pazopanib is designed to block tumor cell growth in several ways. Pazopanib
targets several proteins (called tyrosine kinases) on the surface
of cancer cells, as well as targets within the cell. Several of these targets are
thought to be involved in angiogenesis (making of blood vessels). By
blocking these targets, it is hoped the cancer will shrink.
Research continues to identify which cancers may be best treated with targeted
therapies and to identify additional targets for more types of cancer.
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional
about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained
in this web site is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute
for medical advice.
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