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Cabozantinib (By mouth)

Cabozantinib (ka-boe-ZAN-ti-nib)

Treats thyroid cancer.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to cabozantinib, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach. Do not eat for at least 2 hours before and 1 hour after you take this medicine.
  • Swallow the capsule whole with at least 8 ounces of water. Do not crush, break, chew, or open the capsule.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose:
    • If it is less than 12 hours until your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the normal time. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.
    • If it is more than 12 hours until your next dose, take it as soon as you can. Then take your next dose at the scheduled time.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines and foods can affect how cabozantinib works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
    • Dexamethasone
    • Nefazodone
    • HIV/AIDS medicine, such as atazanavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir
    • Infection medicine, such as clarithromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine, telithromycin, voriconazole
    • Seizure medicine, such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
    • St John's wort
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Use birth control for at least 4 months after you stop taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, liver disease, blood clotting or bleeding problems, high blood pressure, an open wound, or dental problems.
  • This medicine may cause you to bleed more easily, and for wounds to heal more slowly. Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • High blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, or blood clot
    • Higher levels of protein in your urine, and kidney damage
    • Hand-foot skin reaction, a condition that can cause pain and blisters on your hands or feet
    • Perforation (hole) in your digestive system
    • Jaw bone problems that can cause pain or sores to develop in your mouth
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments. Your doctor will also check your blood pressure on a regular basis.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain that may spread to your arms, jaw, back, or neck, trouble breathing, nausea, unusual sweating, fainting
  • Gagging, coughing, or choking when you eat or drink
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body
  • Red or dark brown urine, bloody or black, tarry stools, unexplained nosebleeds
  • Rash, redness, pain, swelling, or blisters on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet
  • Severe diarrhea or stomach pain
  • Severe pain anywhere in your body
  • Shortness of breath, coughing up blood, pain in your lower leg (calf)
  • Sudden or severe headache, confusion, seizures, problems with vision, speech, or walking
  • Swelling in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Tightness in your jaw, mouth pain or numbness, loose teeth
  • Unusual or heavy bleeding, bruising, or weakness
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Change in hair color
  • Decreased appetite, change or loss of taste, weight loss
  • Mild diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 3/28/2016
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