Sutent Helps Treat the Following Conditions:
Advanced Kidney Cancer
Kidney cancer may initially develop without many symptoms. As the condition progresses, patients often experience tiredness, unexplained weight loss, persistent fever, and loss of appetite. Back pain and blood in the urine are additional symptoms.
Sutent is prescribed to patients who have advanced kidney cancer, and to patients who have already had surgery to remove kidney tumors and are at risk of the condition recurring.
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNET) originate in endocrine cells within the pancreas. Endocrine cells are responsible for secreting hormones (like insulin) into the body.
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors can be functional and non-functional, depending on whether or not they release hormones into the body. Sutent is prescribed to patients with advanced tumors which cannot be removed by surgery.
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) first form in the gastrointestinal tract, within certain cells that are part of the autonomic nervous system. These cells help to regulate bodily functions like food digestion.
Most GIST tumors start in the stomach and the small intestine. Sutent is prescribed to patients who cannot take the medicine Gleevec or who have not responded to it.
Sutent Active Ingredient
Sutent contains the active ingredient sunitinib which stops or slows down the growth of cancer tumors. Sunitinib also helps to fight tumors by slowing the growth of new blood vessels within the tumor.
Generic Sutena Alternative
Generic alternatives to Sutena are not yet available on this website.
General Drug Information
What Sutent Is and What It’sUsed For
Sutent is prescribed to patients with certain types of renal, pancreatic, or intestinal cancer. It is also used to treat people who are at high risk of recurring kidney cancer, following a surgery to remove tumors.
Usage and Application
Before sourcing Sutent online, patients should read the medication guide provided by their doctor or pharmacist.
Most patients are typically directed to take Sutent orally once per day, with or without food. The dosage is based on the patient’s medical condition and response to treatment.
Patients should drink plenty of fluids during treatment with Sutent unless told otherwise by their doctor.
For some conditions, patients may be directed to take Sutent for a specific period of time, followed by a period of rest. For other conditions, patients should take Sutent continuously. It is important to follow the treating physician’s instructions carefully.
Patients should not increase their dose or take Sutent more often than prescribed. Their condition will not improve any faster, however, they will face an increased risk of serious side effects.
Sutent should be used regularly for patients to experience its full benefit. To prevent forgetting, take Sutent at the same time each day.
Grapefruit can increase the number of certain medications in the body. Patients should avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice unless told otherwise by their doctor.
Considerations Before Taking Sutent
Before starting treatment, patients should alert their doctor if they are allergic to Sutent. It is also important to discuss their medical history, especially related to diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, and/or thyroid disease. Bleeding problems, heart disease, and previous heart attacks should also be disclosed.
Sutent may cause a condition that affects heart rhythm, known as QT prolongation. In rare cases, QT prolongation can cause serious irregular heartbeat and other symptoms like severe dizziness and fainting.
Risk of developing QT prolongation is higher in people who take other drugs that can cause QT prolongation. Before using Sutent, patients should discuss any heart problems with their doctor.
Examples include heart failure, slow heartbeat, and QT prolongation appearing in an electrocardiogram (EKG). Patients should also alert their doctor in the event of any family history of QT prolongation in the EKG or sudden cardiac death.
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood also expose patients to an increased risk of QT prolongation. People who use diuretic drugs – and those suffering from severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting – are particularly at risk. Discuss the safe use of Sutent with your doctor.
Patients should avoid any immunizations without first consulting their doctor. They should also avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccines or flu vaccines inhaled through the nose.
It is important to lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured. Use caution with sharp objects (like safety razors and nail cutters) and avoid activities like contact sports.
Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infection.
Patients should have their mouth checked before starting Sutent, as the medication may cause serious jawbone problems. Have regular dental exams and learn how to keep teeth and gums healthy. If you have jaw pain, inform your doctor and dentist right away. Tell your dentist that you are using Sutent before undergoing any dental procedures.
Before surgery, patients must tell their doctor or dentist about all the prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and herbal products they are taking.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of Sutent, especially QT prolongation.
Sutent may harm an unborn baby. Female patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Women should have a pregnancy test before starting Sutent. Take measures to avoid conception while being treated with the medication, and for four weeks after treatment. Discuss reliable birth control methods with your doctor.
Male patients should take measures to protect any female partners from pregnancy. Couples should use birth control while the man is treated with Sutent and for seven weeks after stopping treatment. Should a pregnancy occur, the couple should inform their doctor immediately.
It is not known whether Sutent passes into breast milk. Due to the possible risk to the infant, women should avoid breastfeeding while being treated with Sutent, and for four weeks after stopping treatment. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Delayed and Omitted Doses
Patients who miss a dose of Sutent should take it as soon as they remember. If it is less than twelve hours before the next dose, skip the missed dose and proceed as usual. Patients should not double their dose to catch up.
Other Medications and Sutent
Drug interactions may change the way Sutent works, increasing the risk of side effects. Before starting treatment, patients need to discuss the full list of medications and supplements they are taking with their doctor. Patients should not change their dose or stop taking this medication unless their physician advises them to do so.
Some medications – like the cancer drug bevacizumab – may interact negatively with Sutent. Additional examples include blood thinners and anticoagulants like Coumadin.
Sutent may cause QT prolongation. A number of other drugs can have the same unwanted side effect. Examples include antiarrhythmic drugs like Cordarone, Betapace, procainamide, quinidine, and dofetilide. Macrolide antibiotics (e.g. Erythrocin) and the medication Orap (given to patients with Tourette syndrome) have a similar effect. Before using Sutent, patients should report all medications they are already using to their doctor or pharmacist.
Certain medications – like ulcer medication Tagamet – can affect the removal of Sutent from the body, influencing how it works. Additional examples include azole antifungals (e.g. Nizoral and Sporanox), HIV protease inhibitors (e.g. Norvir and Invirase), and certain drugs used to treat seizures (e.g. Dilantin and phenobarbital). Rifamycin antibiotics (e.g. Rifadin and Mycobutin), macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), and the herb St. John's wort also affect the removal of Sutent from the body.
Many patients are able to use Sutent without serious side effects. Patients have been prescribed Sutent as their doctor has judged that the benefits outweigh the risk of side effects.
Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, decreased appetite, change in taste, and dry, cracked, and/or thickened skin. Some patients may experience watering eyes, swelling around the eyes, and numbness and/or tingling of the arms and legs.
Some patients may need special drugs to relieve nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Eating several small meals and limiting activity may help to lessen these negative side effects. Patients should notify their doctor or pharmacist should these effects persist or worsen.
Some patients may experience hair loss and changes in hair color and skin color. These effects are usually harmless, but patients should still alert their doctor since skin color changes may also signify a more serious condition.
Serious side effects include headache, jaw pain, joint pain, easy bruising and bleeding, and sores on the tongue and/or mouth. Patients may develop a rash on the palms of their hands or on the soles of their feet. Intolerance to cold or heat, as well as pain, redness, and swelling of arms and legs, may occur.
Patients should monitor for black or bloody stools and vomit that looks like coffee grounds. Some patients may cough up blood or experience slow wound healing. Low blood sugar (manifesting in symptoms like hunger, shakiness, fast heartbeat, and sweating) is also possible.
Additional serious side effects include vision changes (like decreased vision) and mood changes like decreased alertness, irritability, and nervousness. Patients should also monitor for the following symptoms of heart failure: unusual tiredness, shortness of breath, unusual or sudden weight gain, and swelling of the ankles and/or feet.
Sutent may raise blood pressure. Patients should check their blood pressure regularly and inform their doctor if the results are high. In some cases, medications may be necessary to control elevated blood pressure.
Some patients may experience negative symptoms associated with the rapid destruction of cancer cells. This condition (known as tumor lysis syndrome) manifests through symptoms like flank pain, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, and signs of kidney problems like painful urination, changes in urine production, and cloudy, pink, or bloody urine.
Drinking plenty of fluids helps lower the risk of tumor lysis syndrome. Some patients may also need to be prescribed additional medications to deal with the issue.
Patients should seek immediate medical help in the event of very serious side effects like trouble breathing, seizures, irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, and pain in the chest, jaw, and/or left arm.
Patients should monitor for serious skin reactions like rash, skin blisters, and hot, peeling, and/or painful skin. Seek medical assistance should you experience any of these skin symptoms.
Sutent can lower the body's ability to fight infection. Contact your doctor if you develop any signs of an infection: fever, chills, and persistent sore throat.
Serious allergic reactions to Sutent are rare, yet patients should be aware of symptoms including rash, itching, and swelling (tongue/throat), severe dizziness, and trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any other side effects not mentioned above.
How to Store Sutent
Sutent should be stored at room temperature, away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep away from children and pets.
Unwanted medication should be disposed of properly and should not be poured into drains or flushed down the toilet. Patients should consult a pharmacist or their local waste disposal company to find out more about safe disposal methods.
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