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Frequently Asked Questions
It’s important to understand what metastatic renal cell carcinoma (advanced kidney cancer) means and how treatment works in your body. Use this page to find answers to frequently asked questions about . Use the glossary included to help you understand any new terms you may hear from your health care team.
Take a moment to read the Medication Guide before you start taking VOTRIENT and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. The Medication Guide and these frequently asked questions about VOTRIENT do not take the place of talking with your health care provider about metastatic renal cell carcinoma (advanced kidney cancer) and treatment with VOTRIENT.
As your health care provider may have told you, VOTRIENT is a prescription medicine used to treat metastatic renal cell carcinoma. It is not known if VOTRIENT is safe or effective in children under 18 years of age. Find out more about how VOTRIENT may help.
Every medicine comes with a list of possible side effects that you may experience. It’s important to be aware of these things ahead of time so that you can let your health care provider know if you have any concerns. Here is the most important information to know about VOTRIENT.
VOTRIENT can cause serious liver problems including death. Your health care provider will do blood tests to check your liver before you start and while you take VOTRIENT.
Tell your health care provider right away if you get any of these signs of liver problems during treatment with VOTRIENT:
- yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
- dark urine
- nausea or vomiting
- loss of appetite
- pain on the right side of your stomach area (abdomen)
- bruise easily
Your health care provider may need to prescribe a lower dose of VOTRIENT for you or tell you to stop taking VOTRIENT if you develop liver problems during treatment. Use Your Weekly Symptom Tracker (downloadable PDF) to help you notice any patterns and share with your health care team so they can help you plan ahead.
Before you start any new medicine, it’s important to discuss your medical history and any medicines that you have taken or are currently taking. That way, your health care provider can be sure to monitor you appropriately so you can get the most out of your treatment. Take a look at the lists below, and make note of anything you may need to discuss at your next appointment.
Before you take VOTRIENT, tell your health care provider if you
- Have or had liver problems. You may need a lower dose of VOTRIENT or your health care provider may prescribe a different medicine to treat your advanced renal cell cancer
- Have high blood pressure
- Have heart problems or an irregular heartbeat, including QT prolongation
- Have a history of a stroke
- Have headaches, seizures, or vision problems
- Have coughed up blood in the last 6 months
- Had bleeding of your stomach or intestines in the last 6 months
- Have a history of a tear (perforation) in your stomach or intestine, or an abnormal connection between two parts of your gastrointestinal tract (fistula)
- Have had blood clots in a vein or in the lung
- Have thyroid problems
- Had recent surgery (within the last 7 days) or are going to have surgery
- Have any other medical conditions
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. VOTRIENT can harm your unborn baby. You should not become pregnant while you are taking VOTRIENT
- Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if VOTRIENT passes into your breast milk. You and your health care provider should decide if you will take VOTRIENT or breastfeed. You should not do both
Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. VOTRIENT may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how VOTRIENT works.
Especially tell your health care provider if you
- Take medicines that can affect how your liver enzymes work, such as
- Certain antibiotics (used to treat infections)
- Certain medicines used to treat HIV
- Certain medicines used to treat depression
- Medicines used to treat irregular heart beats
- Take a medicine that contains simvastatin to treat high cholesterol levels
- Take medicines that reduce stomach acid (eg, esomeprazole)
- Eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice
Ask your health care provider if you are not sure if your medicine is one that is listed above. Also let your health care provider know about any other medical conditions you may have. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them, and show it to your health care provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
Learn more about potential side effects so you can work with your health care team to plan ahead.
As you begin a new medicine, it can be helpful to consider ways to create a routine that works for you. Use the calendar to see how different times may fit into your schedule. Keep these things in mind while on treatment with VOTRIENT:
- Take VOTRIENT exactly as your health care provider tells you. Your health care provider will tell you how much VOTRIENT to take
- Your health care provider may change your dose
- Take VOTRIENT on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food
- Do not crush VOTRIENT tablets
- Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice during treatment with VOTRIENT. Grapefruit products may increase the amount of VOTRIENT in your body
- If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take it if it is close (within 12 hours) to your next dose. Just take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take more than 1 dose of VOTRIENT at a time
- Your health care provider will test your urine, blood, and heart before you start and while you take VOTRIENT
- Tell your health care provider if you plan to have surgery while taking VOTRIENT. You will need to stop taking VOTRIENT at least 7 days before surgery because VOTRIENT may affect healing after surgery
It may take a little adjusting to find the best time for you to take VOTRIENT, but there are resources and information on this site designed to help you get there.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take it if it is close (within 12 hours) to your next dose. Just take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take more than 1 dose of VOTRIENT at a time. Call your health care provider if you have any questions.
Keep in mind that everyone experiences side effects differently. VOTRIENT may cause serious side effects, including
- Irregular or fast heartbeat or fainting
- Heart failure. This is a condition where your heart does not pump as well as it should and may cause you to have shortness of breath
- Heart attack or stroke. Heart attack and stroke can happen with VOTRIENT and may cause death
- Symptoms may include chest pain or pressure, pain in your arms, back, neck or jaw, shortness of breath, numbness or weakness on one side of your body, trouble talking, headache, or dizziness
- Blood clots. Blood clots may form in a vein, especially in your legs (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT). Pieces of a blood clot may travel to your lungs (pulmonary embolism). This may be life-threatening and cause death
Symptoms may include new chest pain, trouble breathing or shortness of breath that starts suddenly, leg pain, and swelling of the arms and hands, or legs and feet, a cool or pale arm or leg
- Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) including thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura (TTP) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). TMA is a condition involving blood clots that can happen while taking VOTRIENT. TMA is accompanied by a decrease in red blood cells and cells that are involved in clotting. TMA may harm organs such as the brain and kidneys
- Bleeding problems. These bleeding problems may be severe and cause death
Symptoms may include unusual bleeding, bruising, or wounds that do not heal
- Tear in your stomach or intestinal wall (perforation) or an abnormal connection between two parts of your gastrointestinal tract (fistula)
Symptoms may include pain, swelling in your stomach area, vomiting blood, and black sticky stools
- Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS). RPLS is a condition that can happen while taking VOTRIENT that may cause death.
Symptoms may include headaches, seizures, lack of energy, confusion, high blood pressure, loss of speech, blindness or changes in vision, and problems thinking
- High blood pressure. High blood pressure can happen with VOTRIENT, including a sudden and severe rise in blood pressure which may be life-threatening. These blood pressure increases usually happen in the first several months of treatment. Your blood pressure should be well controlled before you start taking VOTRIENT. Your health care provider should begin checking your blood pressure within 1 week of you starting VOTRIENT and often during treatment to make sure that your blood pressure is well controlled
- Have someone call your health care provider or get medical help right away for you, if you get symptoms of a severe increase in blood pressure, including severe chest pain, severe headache, blurred vision, confusion, nausea and vomiting, severe anxiety, shortness of breath, seizures, or you pass out (become unconscious)
- Thyroid problems. Your health care provider should check you for this during treatment with VOTRIENT
- Protein in your urine. Your health care provider will check you for this problem. If there is too much protein in your urine, your health care provider may tell you to stop taking VOTRIENT
- Serious infections. Serious infections can happen with VOTRIENT and can cause death
Symptoms may include fever, cold symptoms, such as runny nose or sore throat that do not go away, flu symptoms, such as cough, tiredness, and body aches, pain when urinating, cuts, scrapes or wounds that are red, warm, swollen, or painful
- Collapsed lung (pneumothorax). A collapsed lung can happen with VOTRIENT. Air may get trapped in the space between your lung and chest wall. This may cause you to have shortness of breath
Call your health care provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed above.
The most common side effects in people who take VOTRIENT include
- High blood pressure
- Change in hair color
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of VOTRIENT. Learn more about potential side effects to help plan ahead. For more information, ask your health care provider or pharmacist.
When starting a new medicine, it’s helpful to know how it works so you can know what to expect. As you talk with your health care provider about treating metastatic renal cell carcinoma (advanced kidney cancer), you’ve likely learned that it may be controlled with VOTRIENT.
VOTRIENT works to prevent the growth of new blood vessels to the tumor and may shrink or slow the growth of the cancer by stopping a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor or VEGF (vehj eff). VEGF is important for the growth of blood vessels to supply nutrients to the tumor cell. It is important to note that VOTRIENT may also harm healthy cells. Learn more about how VOTRIENT works.
Treatments for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (advanced kidney cancer) work differently for everybody. Your health care provider will perform tests and regularly monitor your body's functions. He or she can help let you know if VOTRIENT is helping you during your appointments, so be sure to ask any questions you may have. Learn more about how VOTRIENT works.
Store VOTRIENT at room temperature between 68oF and 77oF (20oC to 25oC). Get more information and resources for taking VOTRIENT.
Keep VOTRIENT and all medicines out of the reach of children.
Yes. It is best to avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while on VOTRIENT, because it may affect how the medicine works in your body. Ask your health care provider about any additional foods you should avoid. Learn more about how to take VOTRIENT.
Active ingredient: pazopanib.
Inactive ingredients: Tablet core: Magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, sodium starch glycolate. Coating: Gray film-coat: Hypromellose, iron oxide black, macrogol/polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG 400), polysorbate 80, titanium dioxide.
As your health care provider monitors you while you’re on VOTRIENT, he or she will be able to better estimate how long you may need to take VOTRIENT. Treatments for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (advanced kidney cancer) work differently for everybody. Learn more about how VOTRIENT works. You can also download the Conversation Guide (downloadable PDF) to help you get ideas of what you may want to discuss at your next appointment.
Use this glossary any time you need to get a better understanding of some of the standard terms used. You can also ask your health care provider to clarify any of these terms during your appointments.
A biopsy is the removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope to check for signs of cancer.
A CT scan is a procedure that creates a series of detailed images from different angles of areas inside the body.
Fatigue is extreme tiredness.
Hematuria is blood in the urine.
Hypertension is another term for high blood pressure.
Kidney cancer occurs when cells start to grow out of control in the kidney.
A lesion is an area in an organ or tissue that has been damaged through injury or disease.
This procedure uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to create detailed images of areas inside the body.
Sometimes kidney cancer cells spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Even though the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body, your health care provider will still call it kidney cancer, because that is where the cancer cells started.
A nephrectomy is the partial or full surgical removal of a kidney.
In some cases, a medicine that was working to treat a patient’s cancer stops working. This is called treatment resistance. When this happens, your health care provider will work with you and let you know of other treatment options to be considered.
VEGF is a protein that is important in the growth of blood vessels to supply nutrients to the tumor cell.
VOTRIENT is used to treat adults with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, a form of kidney cancer. VOTRIENT may shrink or slow the growth of kidney cancer for a period of time. VOTRIENT is not a cure for kidney cancer.