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INLYTA Side Effect Tips
Ways to help manage certain common side effects
Not all side effects are manageable. Dose interruptions and/or reductions may be needed during treatment with INLYTA. Be sure to talk to your healthcare professional about any side effects you experience and how they may be managed for you.
Common side effects
The tips in this section are based on published general guidelines for managing certain side effects that are common among patients with advanced RCC or other cancers.
In the clinical trial, hypertension occurred as early as 4 days into treatment. On average, this increase was seen within the first month of treatment. INLYTA may cause your blood pressure to rise.
Your doctor should check your blood pressure regularly while you are being treated with INLYTA. If you develop blood pressure problems, your doctor may prescribe medicine to treat your high blood pressure, lower your dose, or stop your treatment with INLYTA. Tell your doctor or nurse if you have high blood pressure or a history of heart disease.
If you have high blood pressure, your healthcare provider's recommendations may include:
- Take antihypertensive medications as prescribed
- Recognize signs of potentially dangerous high blood pressure (eg, severe headache, shortness of breath, nosebleeds)
- Follow healthy lifestyle choices: regular exercise, weight control, moderate alcohol consumption, sodium restriction
If you are already being treated for high blood pressure, your doctor may change your blood pressure medicine when you start taking INLYTA. Your doctor may also ask you to track your blood pressure regularly. Follow the advice of your doctor or nurse—talk to them if you have any questions or concerns.
Diarrhea is more loose or watery stools/bowel movements than usual. If you have these symptoms, call your doctor or nurse. It is important for you and your doctor to try to manage diarrhea as soon as it begins.
If you experience diarrhea, your healthcare provider’s recommendations may include:
- Try yogurt containing probiotics
- Eat foods containing soluble fiber
- Eat small but frequent meals
- Avoid spicy foods, fatty foods, caffeine, and fruit
- Drink fluids, such as water, diluted cranberry juice, broth, or decaffeinated tea or coffee
Ask your doctor or nurse if you can be treated with over-the-counter medications.
While you are taking INLYTA, you may feel tired or weak. Call your doctor or nurse if you have these symptoms.
If tiredness or feeling weak is a recurring problem, your healthcare provider's recommendations may include:
- Take short naps and breaks instead of long ones
- Eat well and drink plenty of fluids
- Take short walks or do light exercise, if you feel up to it
- Do things that are relaxing, such as listening to music or reading
- Stay as active as possible
- Try to maintain normal work and social schedules
Ask your doctor if there are over-the-counter or prescription medications that may help you manage your condition.
During treatment, you may have less desire to eat. But maintaining good nutrition and a healthy weight are important to your overall health. Protein and calories are even more vital to someone with cancer.
If you have decreased appetite, you can discuss the following diet ideas with your doctor:
- Eat several small meals a day—5 or 6 isn’t out of the question
- When you are hungry, eat
- Enjoy snacks and strive to make them nutritious. Find calories and protein in dried fruits, nuts, cheeses, and even milkshakes
- For added protein and calories, it can be a good idea to add gravy, butter, or cheese to your favorite foods
- Drink fluids between meals rather than filling up with them during meals
- If you are too tired to cook, ask a friend or family member to make you something. You may be surprised how many people are willing to help you
- If mouth pain causes you to eat less, consider avoiding spicy foods. Eat foods that are soft or use a straw for liquids
- If taste changes cause you to eat less, try cold or frozen foods to minimize taste. Flavor foods with herbs, sugar, or sauces to maximize taste. And keep a clean and healthy mouth by brushing and flossing often
- If an upset stomach causes you to eat less, avoid heavy meals, coffee, and alcohol; try sleeping in an upright position; and reduce stress with meditation, yoga, or music
- A registered dietitian (RD) may have more ideas to offer you
Ask your doctor if there are over-the-counter or prescription medicines that may help you manage your condition.
It is best to call your doctor or nurse at the first sign of nausea or vomiting. This is especially important if these symptoms keep you from taking your oral medications or keeping them down. Your healthcare provider may prescribe a medicine for these symptoms.
If you experience nausea or vomiting, your healthcare provider’s recommendations may include:
- Avoid fatty, fried, spicy, or highly sweet foods
- Eat bland foods and drink clear liquids
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals
- Reduce food aromas and other stimuli with strong odors. Eat food at room temperature to lessen the odor
- Listen to soft music, watch a favorite television program, or enjoy the company of others while you eat
If you vomit, start with small amounts of water, broth, or other clear liquids when you are ready to eat again. If that stays down, then try soft foods. Some examples include gelatin, plain cornstarch pudding, yogurt, strained soup, or strained cooked cereal. Slowly work up to eating solid food. Make sure that you do not eat any food that you are allergic to.
Also called dysphonia (dis-phone-ee-uh), this is when you have a weak, rough, or harsh voice.
If you have trouble speaking, your healthcare provider’s recommendations may include:
- Drink plenty of water and avoid irritants (eg, dust, smoke, alcohol, industrial chemicals)
- Give your voice a break—write things down
- Avoid voice strain through shouting or whispering
Skin conditions, such as rash, redness, or itching or peeling of the skin are other side effects you may have. You may notice dryness, thickening, calluses, or cracking of the skin on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. This is called hand-foot syndrome. Some patients may have blisters or a rash. Tell your doctor or nurse if you start to develop skin problems. He or she may give you specific treatments, which may include lotions, moisturizers, or pain medicines.
To help manage the effects of hand-foot syndrome, your healthcare provider’s recommendations may include:
- Wear loose cotton clothes
- Use sunscreen
- Clean hands and feet with lukewarm water and gently pat dry
- Apply creams containing lanolin or urea to the hands and feet liberally and often
- Avoid tight-fitting shoes and jewelry or rubbing pressure on the hands and feet
- Do not shave off blisters
Some patients taking INLYTA experience constipation. This has the potential to become a serious side effect. Left untreated, constipation can cause a blockage in your intestines, leading to dehydration and even internal damage.
If you experience constipation, speak to your doctor. He or she may recommend any of the following:
- Drinking more fluids
- Taking a stool softener
- Changing your dose of INLYTA
- Adding fiber to your diet
- Increasing physical activity
- Getting an enema
Make note of all your side effects and how you’re feeling
Be sure to pay attention to all your side effects. They can be important signs that let you and your doctor know what is happening in your body.
Before starting INLYTA, tell your doctor how you are feeling and about any side effects you have had from other medicines and treatments. As you start taking INLYTA, let your doctor know if you notice any side effects or a change in how you feel. Also tell your doctor if you notice any side effects that are not listed here. Based on your experience, your doctor may change your dose or stop treatment with INLYTA.
Side effects in the clinical trial
In a head-to-head clinical trial, 9% of patients taking INLYTA had to stop treatment because of side effects. This is compared with 13% of those taking Nexavar.
In all, 61% of people taking INLYTA stopped treatment compared with 71% taking Nexavar. The most common reasons for stopping treatment in both groups included:
- Disease progression
- Side effects
Also, 55% of people taking INLYTA required dose changes or a delay of treatment due to side effects. This is compared with 62% taking Nexavar.