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)

  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling tired
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hair color changes (loss of pigment)

Possible Side Effects (Serious)

  • Severe and fatal liver problems.  Your doctor will monitor your liver function via blood tests. Report yellowing of the skin or whites of your eyes (jaundice), dark urine, tiredness, pain on the right side of your stomach, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite or easy bruising.
  • High blood pressure. Blood pressure should be well controlled prior to use of this drug. Even without a history of high blood pressure, you may develop high blood pressure (usually within the first 18 weeks) that requires treatment with blood pressure medications.
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat.   Your doctor will monitor your heartbeat and electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, and potassium) in the blood. 
  • Severe bleeding events can occur. Report unusual bleeding, bruising, or wounds that do not heal.
  • Heart attack or stroke.  If these symptoms last more than 2 minutes, call 9-1-1 immediately: chest pain or pressure, pain in your arms, back, neck or jaw, shortness of breath, numbness or weakness on one side of your body, trouble talking, headache, or dizziness.
  • Tear in your stomach or intestine or development of a fistula (an abnormal connection between two parts of the gastrointestinal tract) .  Immediately report pain, swelling in your stomach area, vomiting blood, or black sticky stools.
  • Decrease in thyroid gland function. Your doctor will monitor your thyroid levels via a blood test.

Important Instructions

  • Due to an increased risk of bleeding and wound healing problems, your cancer doctor may recommend that you 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 further instructions.

Sexual Problems and Reproductive Concerns

Pregnancy Warning:  This drug may have harmful effects on an unborn child. For this reason, men and women should use effective methods of birth control during cancer treatment.  Discuss effective methods of birth control with your doctor.

If you are exposed to this drug while pregnant, ask to speak to a genetic counselor. A genetic counselor can review the potential risks of problems with the fetus and with future pregnancies.

Breast Feeing Warning: It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Treating Side Effects

  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help prevent or lessen nausea and vomiting and to treat diarrhea.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • Pazopanib should be taken on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal. 
  • Swallow whole. Do not crush the tablets.
  • Avoid eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while on pazopanib.
  • This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. Using these might unexpectedly 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 advice.
  • 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.

When to Call the Doctor

Notify your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Signs of liver problems, including yellowing of the skin or whites of your eyes (jaundice), dark urine, tiredness, pain on the right side of your stomach, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, or easy bruising.
  • Temperature of 100.5 F (38.0 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Trouble breathing
  • Uncontrolled nausea that prevents you from eating or drinking
  • Vomiting more than 3 times in 1 day.
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Pain or swelling in your stomach area
  • Chest pain. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. 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 these symptoms last more than 2 minutes, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Diarrhea of 5 or 6 stools in 1 day, or diarrhea with weakness
  • Severe headache

Notify your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Nausea, vomiting, pain, or diarrhea that is unrelieved by prescribed medications.
  • No bowel movement for 3 days, or if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Persistent loss of appetite or fast weight loss (such as 5 pounds in 1 week).
  • Extreme fatigue or weakness that interferes with daily activities.

New September 2011

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