Sorafenib is in the class of medications called multi-kinase inhibitors. This medication is indicated for the treatment of liver cancer and kidney cancer. Sorafenib interferes with the pathways that signal certain cancer cells to grow.
Liver cancer begins in the cells of your liver. Your liver is a football-sized organ that sits in the upper right portion of your abdomen which is beneath your diaphragm and above your stomach. Most people don’t have signs and symptoms in the early stages of primary liver cancer. When signs and symptoms do appear, they may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Losing weight without trying
- Nausea and vomiting
- Upper abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- General weakness and fatigue
- Yellow discoloration of your skin and the whites of your eyes
- White or chalky stools
Kidney cancer starts in the kidneys. These are two bean-shaped organs and each is about the size of your fist. They are located behind your abdominal organs with one kidney on each side of your spine. Kidney cancer rarely causes signs or symptoms in its early stages. In later stages, signs and symptoms may include:
- Pain in your back or side that doesn’t go away
- Blood in your urine which may appear pink, red or cola-colored
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fever which usually comes and goes
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription. This product is supplied as tablets for oral use. Each tablet is available in the dosage strength of 200 mg.
How does Sorafenib work?
Sorafenib works by stopping the action of several kinase enzymes. This stops the signals that tell the cancer cells to develop and increase. It also stops blood vessels growing into the tumor. This decreases the tumor’s blood supply and with it, its supply of oxygen and nutrients. Both these effects stop the tumor from growing.
The approach that cells in the bodywork and develops is controlled by countless enzymes called kinases. In cancerous cells, these kinases make the cells grow and multiply unusually. They also stimulate nearby blood vessels to grow into the tumor. The new blood vessels let the cancer cells to grow and multiply. It is by supplying them with oxygen and nutrients. They also permit the cancerous cells to spread into other areas of the body through the blood circulation.
How to use Sorafenib?
The recommended dosage is based on your medical condition and response. You must take this medication exactly as it is prescribed. You should not take more or less or more often than it is given by your doctor.
Sorafenib is usually taken twice a day. This is to be taken on an empty stomach at least an hour before or 2 hours before meals. Take it by mouth and swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Remember to take it at the same time every day. Swallow the medicine as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, chew, or crush it. Take each dose exactly as it is given by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than the prescription. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.
What are the side effects of Sorafenib?
- Dry skin
- Skin rash or itching
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Patchy hair loss or thinning
- Dry mouth
Tell your doctor right away if you notice skin problems especially on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet such as:
Call for medical assistance right away if you have these signs of an allergic reaction:
- Swelling of the lips, face throat, or tongue
- Hives or itching
- Difficulty breathing
Warnings and Precautions
- Consult your doctor first if you are pregnant or breastfeeding women. This could be harmful to a developing baby. Women who could get pregnant must use a reliable method of contraception to avoid getting pregnant. Let your doctor know right away if you get pregnant during treatment with Sorafenib.
- Your capability to get pregnant or father a child may be affected by treatment with this medicine. It is important to discuss fertility with your doctor before starting treatment.
- Sorafenib should be used with caution in elderly people, those with high blood pressure, severely decreased liver function, angina, or a history of a heart attack. People with blood clotting problems or at increased risk of bleeding should also be careful when using this medication.
- Let your doctor know if you ever had a bleeding problem, heart disease, or liver disease. If you experience any chest pain as well, contact your doctor.
- Do not share this or any of your medication with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
- A rash and a skin reaction called hand-foot syndrome are the most common side effects of this drug. If they occur, they usually appear in the first six weeks of treatment. You should tell your doctors if you get a skin rash or any pain, swelling, and redness of your hands or feet while you are taking this medicine.
- Your blood pressure should be regularly monitored. If your blood pressure increases you may need to take medicines to reduce it.
- This medicine may slow wound healing. For this reason, your doctor may want you to temporarily stop taking this medicine if you are going to have any major surgical procedures.
- This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
- If you are taking any vitamins or herbal supplements, inform your doctor.
- Keep this at room temperature far from moisture or heat.