Vandetanib

Adult Medication

Brand Names: US

Caprelsa

Brand Names: Canada

Caprelsa

Warning

  • This drug may cause a prolonged QT interval (a type of heartbeat that is not normal). If this happens, the chance of other unsafe and sometimes deadly abnormal heartbeats may be raised. Sudden deaths have happened in people taking this drug. Do not take this drug if you have low potassium or magnesium levels or a history of long QT on ECG. Your heartbeat will be watched often with an ECG. Talk with your doctor.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Do not take this drug if you are taking certain other drugs, including any drugs that can raise the chance of a prolonged QT interval (a type of heartbeat that is not normal). There are many drugs that interact with this drug. Talk with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure it is safe to take this drug with all of your drugs.
  • You may only get this drug through a special program. Talk with your doctor.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat thyroid cancer.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to vandetanib or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have liver disease.
  • If you have ever had any of these health problems: A heartbeat that is not normal, slow heartbeat, or weak heart (heart failure).
  • If you have recently thrown up blood.
  • If you are taking rifampin.
  • If you are taking any drugs used for a heartbeat that is not normal.
  • If you are taking St. John’s wort. Do not take St. John’s wort with this drug. This drug may not work as well.
  • If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you.
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly brain problem called posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) has happened with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have signs like feeling confused, lowered alertness, change in eyesight, loss of eyesight, seizures, or very bad headache.
  • Heart failure has happened with this drug, as well as heart failure that has gotten worse in people who already have it. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Tell your doctor if you have heart disease. Call your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath, a big weight gain, a heartbeat that is not normal, or swelling in the arms or legs that is new or worse.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly brain blood vessel problems have happened with this drug. Talk with your doctor.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly bleeding problems have happened with this drug. Talk with the doctor.
  • You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
  • If you have upset stomach, throwing up, loose stools (diarrhea), or are not hungry, talk with your doctor. There may be ways to lower these side effects.
  • If you get diarrhea, you will need to make sure to avoid getting dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids and watch for weight loss. Talk with your doctor.
  • This drug may cause high blood pressure.
  • Have your blood pressure checked often. Talk with your doctor.
  • You may get sunburned more easily while taking this drug and for 4 months after your last dose. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
  • This drug may affect fertility. Fertility problems may lead to not being able to get pregnant or father a child. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
  • Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug and for 4 months after your last dose.
  • If you get pregnant while taking this drug or within 4 months after your last dose, call your doctor right away.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
  • Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
  • Signs of low thyroid levels like hard stools (constipation); not able to handle cold; memory problems; mood changes; or a burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
  • Change in how you act.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Very loose stools (diarrhea).
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly lung problems have happened with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have lung or breathing problems like trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or a cough that is new or worse.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Headache.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Pimples (acne).
  • Dry skin.
  • Itching.
  • Belly pain.
  • Not hungry.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Change in nails.
  • Hair loss.
  • Change in taste.
  • Muscle spasm.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
  • Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Take with or without food.
  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • If needed, you may put your dose in 2 ounces (60 mL) of water. Mix for 10 minutes or until the drug is in very small pieces and drink. This drug will not melt all the way. Rinse the cup with 4 ounces (120 mL) of water and drink.
  • If the tablet is crushed or broken, do not touch the contents. If you do touch the contents or get it in your eyes, wash hands or eyes right away.
  • Those who have feeding tubes may use this drug. Use as you have been told. Flush the feeding tube after this drug is given.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is less than 12 hours until the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not use 2 doses or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date

2016-03-30

Copyright

© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.