Inlyta®

Posted on February 1st, 2012 by

Class: Biological Therapy

Generic Name: axitinib

Trade Name: Inlyta®

How is this drug used? Inlyta is FDA approved for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) after one prior drug treatment has not worked. It is important for patients to remember that physicians have the ability to prescribe medication for conditions other than those for which the drug has been approved by the FDA. Patients who have received a prescription of this drug for a condition other than for which it is approved may wish to discuss this issue with their physician.

What is the mechanism of action?  Inlyta is a type of drug known as a kinase inhibitor. It works by blocking certain proteins that play a role in cancer growth

How is Inlyta typically given (administered)? Inlyta is taken orally (by mouth), typically twice per day.

How are patients typically monitored? Patients will usually have scheduled meetings with their healthcare provider while they are being treated with Inlyta. Typically, blood will be drawn to check levels of blood cells and to monitor functions of some organ systems. Physical examinations, scans or other measures may also be utilized to assess side effects and response to therapy.

What are the most common side effects of treatment with Inlyta?

  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nausea
  • Hoarseness
  • Hand-foot syndrome
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Constipation

What are some of the less common side effects to be aware of?

  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding problems
  • A tear (perforation) in the stomach or intestine
  • Thyroid problems
  • Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (a condition that involves swelling in the brain).
  • Increased protein in the urine
  • Changes in liver function

This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed above. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.

Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should check with their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.

What can patients do to help alleviate or prevent discomfort and side effects?

  • Pay careful attention to the physician’s instructions and inform the physician of any side effects.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice. Grapefruit may increase the amount of Inlyta in the blood.
  • Maintain adequate rest and nutrition.
  • Eat small meals frequently to help alleviate nausea.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (patients should ask their physician about the amount of liquid to consume during a day).

Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?

  • Patients should inform their physician if they are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a family in the near future. This drug may cause birth defects. It is important to use a form of birth control while undergoing treatment.
  • It is important that patients inform their physician of any pre-existing conditions, including high blood pressure, thyroid problems, liver problems, history of blood clots or bleeding problems, history of heart attack or stroke, or an unhealed wound.
  • Patients should inform their physician about any planned surgery.
  • Patients should inform their physician of any other medication they are taking (whether prescription or over-the-counter, including vitamins, herbs, etc.) as they may interfere with treatment.
  • Patients should check with their physician before starting any new drug or nutritional supplement.
  • Patients should inform their physician of any known drug or food allergies or any reactions to medications they have experienced in the past.

When should patients notify their physician?

Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects that bother you or don’t go away. Also call if you notice signs of thyroid problems (e.g. persistent tiredness, feeling hot or cold, weight gain or loss, voice deepening, hair loss, or muscle cramps), signs of a blood clot (e.g. chest pain or pressure; pain in arms, back, neck, or jaw; shortness of breath; numbness or weakness on one side of the body; trouble talking; headache; vision problems), signs of unusual bleeding  (e.g. bleeding that is heavy or persistent, pink or brown urine, red or black stools, unusual bruising, coughing up or vomiting blood, unexpected pain or swelling; headache or dizziness), signs of a gastrointestinal tear (e.g. severe stomach pain, bloody vomit, red or black stools), or signs of brain problems (e.g headache, seizure, weakness, confusion, high blood pressure, blindness or change in vision, problems thinking).

What is a package insert?

A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug by healthcare providers and consumers. A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics, and metabolism of the specific drug. By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.

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Important Limitations of Use

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Tags: Biological Therapy, I

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