Cancer Home > Axitinib

How Does It Work?

Axitinib works by blocking receptors known as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors 1, 2, and 3. These receptors are found on the surface of cells, including cancer cells, and influence tumor growth and spread. By blocking VEGF receptors, axitinib may slow down the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Clinical Effects of Axitinib

In a clinical study, axitinib slowed down the progression of advanced kidney cancer two months longer than another kidney cancer medication that was given to people who had previously received other kidney cancer treatment. More specifically, axitinib slowed down cancer progression by about 6.7 months, compared with 4.7 months with the other medication.

When and How to Take This Medication

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with axitinib include the following:
  • This medication comes in the form of a tablet. It is taken by mouth twice a day, with 12 hours between doses.
  • You can take axitinib with or without food.
  • Try to take your doses at about the same time each day to keep an even level of the medication in your bloodstream.
  • Axitinib should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or cut the tablets.
  • You should avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit while taking this medicine. Grapefruit may increase the level of axitinib in your blood.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.

Dosing Information for Axitinib

The dose of axitinib your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
  • How you tolerate the medication
  • Other medical conditions you may have
  • Other medications you are taking.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
(Click Axitinib Dosage for more information.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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