Pazopanib (Generic Name)

Other Names: Votrient®

About This Drug

This drug is used to treat cancer. It is given by mouth (orally).

Possible Side Effects (Most Common)

  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) that may last for a few days
  • High blood pressure. Your doctor will check your blood pressure as needed.
  • Increased total bilirubin in your blood.  This may mean that you have changes in your liver function. Your blood work will be checked by your doctor.
  • Bone marrow depression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This may raise your risk of infection, make you tired and weak (fatigue), and raise your risk of bleeding.
  • Nausea and throwing up (vomiting). Medicines are available to stop or lessen these side effects.
  • Electrolyte changes.  Your blood will be checked for electrolyte changes as needed.
  • Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
  • Changes to the color of your skin
  • Hand-and-foot syndrome. The palms of your hands or soles of your feet may tingle, become numb, painful, swollen, or red.

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Blood clots.  A blood clot in your leg may cause your leg to swell, appear red and warm, and/or cause pain. A blood clot in your lungs may cause trouble breathing, pain when breathing, and/or chest pain.
  • Abnormal heart beat
  • Changes in the tissue of the heart. Some changes may happen that can cause your heart to have less ability to pump blood. Your heart function will be checked as needed
  • Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet
  • Slow wound healing
  • Chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. Or the discomfort may go away and come back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Sometimes discomfort is felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. If any of these symptoms last 2 minutes, call 911.

Treating Side Effects

  • Drink 6-8 cups of fluids each day unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help stop or lessen the loose bowel movements.
  • If you get a rash, do not put anything on it unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry. Ask your doctor for medicine if your rash bothers you.
  • Pazopanib may cause slow wound healing. It should not be given within 28 days of surgery or any test or procedure that needs conscious sedation. If you must have emergency surgery or have an accident that results in a wound, tell the doctor that you are on pazopanib.  Call your cancer doctor as soon as possible for further orders.

Important Instructions

  • Take by mouth without food, at least one hour before food or two hours after food. Take with water and swallow the medicine whole. Do not chew, break or crush it.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take it if it is close (within 12 hours) of your next dose. Just take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take more than 1 dose at a time.
  • Due to an increased risk of bleeding and wound healing problems, your cancer doctor may tell you to stop taking pazopanib before you have a surgical procedure. If you must have emergency surgery, or you have an accident that results in bleeding or a wound, tell your treating doctor that you are on pazopanib. Call your cancer doctor as soon as possible for more information.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are known interactions of pazopanib with food and with some other medicines. Talk with your doctor about taking St. John’s Wort, garlic, ginseng, and ginkgo. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Rash or itching
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way (palpitations)
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) more than 4 times a day or diarrhea with weakness or feeling lightheaded
  • Blurred vision or other changes in eyesight
  • Pain when passing urine; blood in urine
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • Chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack. Most heart attacks involve pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. The pain may go away and come back. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Sometimes pain is felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. If any of these symptoms last 2 minutes, call 911.
  • Symptoms of a stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg, mostly on one side of your body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, feeling dizzy, loss of balance or coordination; or sudden, bad headache with no known cause.  If you have any of these symptoms for 2 minutes, call 911. 
  • Signs of liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very tired and weak, itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin.

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of these symptoms happen:

  • Decreased urine
  • Nausea that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Heavy menstrual period that lasts longer than normal
  • Numbness, tingling, decreased feeling or weakness in fingers, toes, arms, or legs
  • Swelling of legs, ankles, or feet
  • Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
  • Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Headache that does not go away
  • Painful, red, or swollen areas on your hands or feet.

Reproduction Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used during your cancer treatment.
  • Genetic counseling is available for you to talk about the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. Also, a genetic counselor can look at the possible risk of problems in the unborn baby due to this medicine if an exposure happens during pregnancy.
  • Breast feeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk.  For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

Revised July 2014

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