Sutent (Sunitinib) is a prescription medication used to treat a rare cancer of the stomach, bowel, or esophagus called gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), especially when imatinib mesylate does not stop the cancer from growing or when you cannot take imatinib mesylate. GISTs are rare tumors that occur when intestinal cells become abnormal and grow out of control. GIST cells can sometimes spread to other body parts and grow there. Sutent is also used to treat advanced kidney cancer and adults with localized kidney cancer who are at high risk of cancer returning after kidney surgery. The active ingredient in Sutent is Sunitinib. Sunitinib belongs to a class of drugs called kinase inhibitors. It works by blocking the action of the abnormal protein that signals the multiplication of cancer cells. This helps stop or slow the spread of cancer cells and may help shrink tumors.
We currently offer the brand Sutent from Canada manufactured by Pfizer. The generic Sunitinib is also available from Canada by a different manufacturer. They are both available in the strength of 12.5mg, 25mg, and 50mg capsules.
Get medical help immediately if you have any of these signs or an allergic reaction while taking Sutent. The most common side effects of Sutent may include the following:
• Bruising or bleeding;
• Decreased appetite;
• Feeling weak;
• Stomach pain
Contact your doctor right away if you have any of the severe side effects, including:
• Bleeding problems including painful, swollen stomach, vomiting or coughing up blood, bloody urine;
• Increased blood pressure;
• Severe skin and mouth reactions, including painful sores or ulcers on the skin, lips, or inside the mouth, or rash with blisters or peeling of the skin;
• Signs of liver problems, including appetite loss, yellow eyes or skin, upper stomach pain, ongoing nausea, dark urine, swelling in the face
These are not all of the side effects of Sutent. Always contact your doctor if you notice any unusual symptoms.
You should not take Sutent if you are allergic to Sunitinib or any ingredient in Sutent. Before you start using this medication, tell your doctor about your medical history, especially if you:
• Are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed;
• Are pregnant or planning to be pregnant;
• Have any bleeding problems;
• Have any heart problems;
• Have diabetes;
• Have high blood pressure;
• Have kidney problems other than cancer;
• Have liver problems;
• Have seizures;
• Have thyroid problems
Tell your doctor about all your medications, including prescription, OTC, herbal supplements, and vitamins. There may be drug interactions between Sutent and clarithromycin, rifampin, rifabutin, ketoconazole, atazanavir, nefazodone, etc. Avoid carbamazepine, phenytoin, St. John’s wort, or risedronate with Sutent. Do not drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit when taking Sutent. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Sutent may harm an unborn baby or cause congenital disabilities if the mother or father uses this medicine. If you are a woman, you may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy when using this medicine and for at least four weeks after your last dose. If you are a man, use effective birth control if your sex partner can get pregnant. Keep using birth control for at least seven weeks after your last dose. Inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. Sunitinib passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. You should not breastfeed while using this drug and for at least four weeks after your last dose. Sutent may cause fertility problems in men and women. Take Sutent precisely as prescribed by your doctor. Swallow the Sutent capsule whole. Do not crush, chew, or open the capsule. You may take Sutent with or without food. You will need frequent blood and urine tests while using this drug. You may also need frequent dental exams. Store at room temperature, away from heat and moisture.