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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Sutent

Generic Name: sunitinib (Pronunciation: soo NIT in ib)

What is sunitinib (Sutent)?

Sunitinib is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Sunitinib is used to treat certain types of advanced or progressive tumors of the digestive system, the pancreas, or the kidneys.

Sunitinib may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Sutent 12.5 mg

capsule, orange, imprinted with Pfizer, STN 12.5 mg

Sutent 50 mg

capsule, brown, imprinted with Pfizer, STN 50 mg

What are the possible side effects of sunitinib (Sutent)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using sunitinib and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • feeling short of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling in your ankles or feet;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth;
  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, confusion;
  • muscle weakness, tightness, or contraction, overactive reflexes;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum);
  • lower back pain, blood in your urine;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • pain and swelling in your stomach, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • missed menstrual periods;
  • feeling depressed or very tired, loss of appetite, diarrhea, weight gain or loss, hair loss, sweating, increased sensitivity to heat.
  • fever, white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips; or
  • redness, tenderness, sunburn-like peeling of the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • unusual or unpleasant taste in the mouth;
  • cough;
  • mild nausea, vomiting, upset stomach;
  • constipation;
  • dry skin, changes in skin or hair color; or
  • joint pain, back pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about sunitinib (Sutent)?

Do not use sunitinib if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Before using sunitinib, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, seizures, a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder, a thyroid or adrenal gland disorder, or if you have ever had a stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, a blood clot, or coronary artery disease.

If you need surgery or a dental procedure, tell the surgeon or dentist ahead of time that you are using sunitinib. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, you will need medical tests at the beginning of each 4-week treatment cycle.

Stop using sunitinib and call your doctor at once if you have chest pain, severe dizziness or fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats, swelling, feeling short of breath, sudden numbness or weakness, vision or speech problems, easy bruising or bleeding, blood in your urine or stools, coughing up blood, weight changes, tiredness, missed menstrual periods, upper stomach pain, dark urine, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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