Cancer Home > Precautions and Warnings With Axitinib

Specific Axitinib Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
  • This medicine has been reported to cause blood clots in veins and arteries, which could cause serious problems, including a heart attack or stroke. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:
    • Chest pain or pressure
    • Pain in the arm, back, neck, or jaw
    • Shortness of breath
    • Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
    • Difficulty walking or talking
    • Headache
    • Vision problems, such as blurred or loss of vision
    • Swelling, pain, or tenderness in a leg.
  • Thyroid problems have been reported to occur in people taking axitinib. Therefore, your healthcare provider will monitor your thyroid function before and during treatment. You may need to take certain thyroid medicines if you develop hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism during axitinib treatment.
  • This medication has been reported to cause bleeding, which can lead to life-threatening complications. Contact your healthcare provider if you develop any signs of bleeding, such as:
    • Unusual bruising
    • Unexplained bleeding, such as bleeding of the gums, blood in the urine, or coughing up blood
    • Black, tarry stools; bright-red blood in the stool; or vomiting of blood
    • Weakness, dizziness, or headaches.
  • Although rare, axitinib can cause a tear in the stomach or intestines. Seek medical attention if you develop signs of this potentially life-threatening problem, such as:
    • Severe or persistent abdominal (stomach) pain
    • Vomiting blood
    • Blood in the stool or black, tarry stools.
  • Axitinib can cause a rare but serious brain condition known as reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you have signs of this condition, which can include:
    • Headache
    • Confusion
    • Seizures
    • Weakness
    • Vision problems, including blurred or loss of vision.
  • Your healthcare provider will monitor your liver function, using a simple blood test, before you start axitinib and periodically throughout treatment. This is because axitinib has been reported to cause an increase in certain liver enzymes.
  • Axitinib may affect the ability of wounds or sores to heal. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you have wounds that are red, oozing, or do not seem to be healing. Also, tell your healthcare provider if you have plans for surgery. It is generally recommended that people stop taking axitinib at least 24 hours before having surgery.
  • You may develop a condition known as proteinuria while taking axitinib, which is when the urine contains an abnormal amount of protein. Your healthcare provider will check your urine protein levels before and during treatment. If you develop protein in your urine, your healthcare provider may decrease your axitinib dose or temporarily stop treatment.
  • Axitinib is a pregnancy Category D medication because it may be harmful to an unborn child. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medication during pregnancy (see Inlyta and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown whether axitinib passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Inlyta and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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