Pazopanib is a prescription used to treat kidney cancer. This happens when healthy cells in one or both kidneys grow out of control and form a lump called a tumor. This condition starts in the kidneys. Your kidneys are two-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. Kidney cancers rarely cause signs or symptoms in its early stages. In later stages, kidney cancer signs and symptoms may include:
- Pain in your back or side that doesn’t go away
- Blood in your urine which may appear red, pink or cola-colored
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Fever which usually comes and goes
This medication may also be used to treat certain other types of cancer called soft tissue sarcoma. It is a rare type of cancer that begins in the tissues that connect, support, and surrounds other body structures. This includes fat, muscle, blood vessels, tendons, nerves, and the lining of your joints. Soft tissue sarcoma can occur anywhere in your body but the most common types occur in the arms, legs, and the abdomen. People with this type of condition often have no symptoms. There may be no signs until the lump grows to a large size and can be felt. The main symptoms are:
- Inflammation – the tumor grows and eventually affects the area with inflammation and swelling
- Pain – the most common symptom. Once the tumor affects local tissues, muscles, or nerves, it can be felt as pain in the general area
- Location specific symptoms – inability to move limbs properly and other impairments depending on the location
Pazopanib is in the class of medications called tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This lessens the blood supply to the cancer tumor. It is to slow the growth of the tumor. This product is supplied as a tablet for oral use. Each tablet contains Pazopanib as an active ingredient. It is a white to slightly yellow solid that is very slightly soluble and practically insoluble in aqueous media. Pazopanib is available in the dosage form of 200 mg. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication.
How does Pazopanib work?
Pazopanib works by interfering with the pathways that signal certain cancer cells to grow. The way that cells in the body work and grow is regulated by various enzymes called protein kinases. These enzymes can be found in certain receptors on the surface of cells. These are also involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. In cancerous cells, the kinases make the cells grow and multiply abnormally. They also stimulate nearby blood vessels to grow into the tumor. The new blood vessels allow the cancer cells to grow and multiply. It is by supplying them with oxygen and nutrients. They also allow the cancerous cells to spread into other areas of the body through the blood circulation.
Pazopanib attaches to certain receptors on cancer cells and cells in the blood vessel walls. And it blocks the action of the protein kinases. This stops the signals that tell the cancer to grow and multiply. This medications as well stops the blood vessel form growing into the tumor. This lessens the tumor’s blood supply and with it, its supply of oxygen and nutrients. Both these effects stop the tumor from growing.
How to use Pazopanib?
Pazopanib is to be taken by mouth as directed by your doctor. This is usually taken once a day. You should take each dose without a meal. You must take it on an empty stomach at least an hour or 2 hours after food. Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, chew, or crush it. The recommended dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to the treatment. You should take the right dose, not more or less.
Do not stop taking this medication without the consent of your doctor. It may cause another complication or may worsen your current condition. For the best benefit from this product, take it regularly. Remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day. 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 double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve.
What are the side effects of Pazopanib?
Common side effects:
- Loss of appetite
- Altered sense of taste
- Weight loss
- Tingling, numbness, or redness in hands or feet
- Joint or muscle pain
- Changes in hair or skin color
- Feeling tired or weak
- Tumor pain
- Shortness of breath
- Stomach or abdominal pain
- Peeling rash
- Swelling of extremities
- Mouth sores
- Hair loss
- Chest pain
- Swelling of the mouth or lips
Stop using and call your doctor right away if you have these:
- Wheezing, dry cough, and sudden chest pain
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Confusion, headache, or vision loss
Warnings and Precautions
- While taking Pazopanib, avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit. It may increase the level of this medicine in your blood and may increase the risk of side effects.
- Your blood pressure should be regularly monitored while having this treatment.
- This medicine could be harmful to a developing baby. Consult your doctor first if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. If you are breastfeeding women, talk with your doctor first as well.
- This is not recommended for children and adolescents under 18 years of age.
- Pazopanib is also not recommended for use in people with a history of coughing up blood or bleeding in the brain or gut in the last six months.
This medication should be used with caution by people:
- With high blood pressure
- With mild or moderately decreased liver function
- With a history of heart disease or abnormal heart rhythm
- With a low level of magnesium or potassium in their blood
- With an underactive thyroid gland
- At increased risk of bleeding due to surgery, disease, or injury
- Who have previously had a perforation or fistula in their gut