Cancer Home > Caprelsa Side Effects

If your healthcare provider prescribes Caprelsa, it is important to be aware of potentially serious reactions this medication may cause. Notify your healthcare provider right away if you develop serious Caprelsa side effects, such as blurred vision, difficulty breathing, or yellowing of the skin. Some of the more common problems reported with this drug include nausea, diarrhea, and acne.

An Introduction to Caprelsa Side Effects

Just like any cancer medicine, Caprelsa® (vandetanib) can cause side effects, some of which can be significant. Although not everyone who takes the medication will have problems, most people will experience some type of adverse reaction during treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways you can manage some of these side effects.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Caprelsa. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
 

Common Side Effects of Caprelsa

Caprelsa has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking the drug were carefully documented and compared to those that occurred in a similar group of people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the placebo.
 
In these studies, the most common Caprelsa side effects included:
 
  • Diarrhea -- in up to 57 percent of people
  • Rash -- up to 53 percent
  • Acne -- up to 35 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 33 percent
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) -- up to 33 percent
  • Headache -- up to 26 percent
  • Fatigue -- up to 24 percent
  • Decreased appetite -- up to 21 percent
  • Stomach pain (abdominal pain) -- up to 21 percent.
  •  
Other common reactions, occurring in 9 to 15 percent of people, included:
 
  • Dry skin
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of energy or weakness
  • An abnormal heart rhythm
  • Increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  • Insomnia
  • Symptoms of the common cold, such as stuffy or runny nose and sore throat
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Abnormally low blood calcium levels (hypocalcemia)
  • Cough
  • Itching
  • Weight loss
  • Abnormal amounts of protein in the urine
  • Depression
  • Blurred vision.
  •  
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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