Pazopanib | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

pazopanib, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Votrient
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for pazopanib

Oral tablet
1

Pazopanib is used to treat advanced renal (kidney) cancer. It’s also used to treat advanced soft tissue sarcoma. This is cancer in the soft tissues in your body. If you have advanced soft tissue sarcoma, you’ll only receive this drug after you have tried a different type of chemotherapy drug first.

2

This drug comes as a tablet you take by mouth.

3

Pazopanib is only available as a brand name drug called Votrient. It isn’t available as a generic drug.

4

The more common side effects of this drug include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, change in hair color, and loss of appetite.

5

In some cases, pazopanib can cause serious side effects. These can include liver problems, heart rhythm changes called QT prolongation, high blood pressure, and low thyroid function.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Liver problems warning. This drug can cause serious liver problems. These can be fatal (cause death). Seniors older than 65 years have the greatest risk of liver problems from this drug. Your doctor will do blood tests to check how well your liver is working before and during your treatment with this drug. They may give you a decreased dosage of this drug or tell you to stop taking this drug if you develop liver problems during treatment.

Heart rhythm changes

This drug can cause serious heart rhythm changes called QT prolongation or torsades de pointes. These conditions can cause sudden death. You may have a higher risk if you have a history of QT prolongation or if you’re taking other drugs that may also cause QT prolongation. Your doctor may check your heart function with an electrocardiogram and blood tests before and during your treatment.

Bleeding risk

This drug may cause you to bleed more easily. You shouldn’t take this drug if you have a history of coughing up blood or if you’ve had bleeding in your brain, stomach, or intestines in the past 6 months.

Low thyroid function

This drug may lower the level of thyroid hormones in your blood. Your doctor may do blood tests to measure your thyroid hormones before and during your treatment with this drug.

Drug features

This drug is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

This drug is only available as the brand-name drug Votrient. It isn’t available as a generic drug.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

This drug is used to treat advanced renal (kidney) cancer. It’s also used to treat advanced soft tissue sarcoma. This is cancer in the soft tissues in your body.

See Details

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way.

See Details

Why it's used

This drug is used to treat advanced renal (kidney) cancer. It’s also used to treat advanced soft tissue sarcoma. This is cancer in the soft tissues in your body. If you have advanced soft tissue sarcoma, you’ll only receive this drug after you have tried a different type of chemotherapy drug first.

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug works by stopping the activity of kinase enzymes in certain cancer cells. This stops these cancer cells from growing and spreading.

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SECTION 2 of 5

pazopanib Side Effects

Oral tablet

More common side effects

The more common side effects of this drug can include:

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • change in hair color

  • loss of appetite

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Liver problems. Symptoms can include:

    • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes)
    • loss of appetite
    • pain on the right side of your abdomen
    • dark urine
    • tiredness
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • bruising more easily than normal
  • Heart attack. Symptoms can include:

    • chest pain or pressure
    • shortness of breath
    • pain in your arms, back, neck, or jaw
  • Stroke. Symptoms can include:

    • weakness on one side of your body
    • trouble talking
    • headache
    • dizziness
  • Blood clots. Symptoms can include:

    • new chest pain
    • trouble breathing or sudden shortness of breath
    • leg pain
    • swelling of your arms and hands or legs and feet
    • a pale arm or leg
    • arm or leg that feels cooler than normal
  • Bleeding problems. Symptoms can include:

    • unusual bleeding
    • bruising more easily than normal
    • wounds that don’t heal
  • Tear in your stomach or intestinal wall or a fistula (abnormal connection between two parts) in your gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms can include:

    • pain and swelling in your abdomen
    • vomit that contains blood
    • black, sticky stools
  • Lung problems. Symptoms can include:

    • cough that doesn’t go away
    • shortness of breath
  • Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome. This is a neurological disorder that can be fatal (cause death). Symptoms can include:

    • headaches
    • seizures
    • loss of energy
    • confusion
    • high blood pressure
    • loss of speech
    • blindness or changes in your vision
    • trouble thinking
  • Severe increase in blood pressure. Symptoms can include:

    • severe chest pain
    • severe headache
    • blurry vision
    • confusion
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • severe anxiety
    • shortness of breath
    • seizures
    • passing out
  • Serious infections. Symptoms can include:

    • fever
    • cold symptoms that don’t go away, such as runny nose or sore throat
    • flu symptoms, such as cough, tiredness, and body aches
    • pain when urinating
    • cuts, scrapes, or wounds that are red, warm, swollen, or painful
  • Low thyroid function. Symptoms can include:

    • tiredness
    • muscle weakness
    • feeling lethargic
    • sensitivity to cold
    • depression
  • Kidney damage. Symptoms can include:

    • foamy urine
    • swelling in your hands and feet
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

pazopanib May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Pazopanib can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Food interactions

You shouldn’t eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you’re taking pazopanib. Grapefruit can make it harder for your body to process this drug. This may increase your risk of side effects.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Drugs you should not use with pazopanib

Do not take these drugs with pazopanib. When used with pazopanib, these drugs can cause dangerous effects in your body. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Ketoconazole, ritonavir, and clarithromycin
    • These drugs can increase the amount of pazopanib in your body. This may increase your risk of side effects from pazopanib. Tell your doctor if you take any of these drugs before you use pazopanib.
  • Rifampin
    • This drug can decrease the amount of pazopanib in your body. This means that pazopanib may not work as well. You shouldn’t use pazopanib if you need to take rifampin.
  • Amiodarone, atorvastatin, carvedilol, tamoxifen, and verapamil
    • These drugs may increase the amount of pazopanib in your body. This raises your risk of side effects from pazopanib.

Interactions that increase your risk of side effects

Side effects from other drugs: Taking pazopanib with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from these drugs. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Simvastatin
    • Taking these drugs together may increase your liver enzymes. Your doctor may switch you to another drug or have you stop taking simvastatin.
  • Carbamazepine, cyclosporine, sirolimus, tacrolimus, or warfarin
    • Pazopanib may increase the amount of these drugs in your body. This could cause more side effects from these drugs.

Interactions that can make pazopanib less effective

When pazopanib is less effective: When pazopanib is used with certain drugs, it may not work as well to treat your condition. This is because the amount of pazopanib in your body may be decreased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Drugs that increase the pH of your stomach, such as proton pump inhibitors, H2 receptor antagonists, and antacids
    • Examples of these drugs include omeprazole, lansoprazole, famotidine, ranitidine, and Tums.
    • These drugs may cause pazopanib to be less effective. If you’re taking a proton pump inhibitor or H2 receptor antagonist, your doctor may switch you to an antacid. You should take the antacid and pazopanib several hours apart. 

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
liver problem warning
People with liver problems

If you have liver problems or a history of liver disease you may not be able to take this drug. This medication can decrease your liver function. This can make your liver problems worse. Ask your doctor if this drug is safe for you.

heart disease warning
People with heart disease

This drug can lead to heart rhythm problems. These include QT prolongation and torsade de pointes. If you have a history of QT prolongation, heart rhythm problems, or heart disease, or you’re at higher risk of QT prolongation. You’re also at higher risk if you’re taking drugs that can affect heart rhythm. Ask your doctor if this drug is safe for you.

impending surgery warning
People with plans to have surgery

Tell your doctor about your plans to have surgery. You’ll need to stop taking this drug at least 7 days before your procedure. This medication may affect your healing after surgery.

pregnancy warning
Pregnant women

This drug is a category D pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in humans has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. This drug should only be used during pregnancy in serious cases where it's needed to treat a dangerous condition in the mother.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Ask your doctor to tell you about the specific harm that may be done to the fetus. This drug should be only used if the potential risk to the fetus is acceptable given the drug’s potential benefit.

breast feeding warning
Women who are breast-feeding

This drug may pass into breast milk and cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Talk to your doctor about breastfeeding your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

senior warning
For seniors

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

If you’re over the age of 65 years, you may be at higher risk of developing severe liver problems while you’re on this drug.

childrens warning
For children

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you need to have surgery. Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

allergy warning
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take pazopanib (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Advanced renal (kidney) cell cancer

Brand: Votrient

Form: oral tablet
Strength: 200 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • Typical starting dosage: 800 mg taken once per day
  • Dosage decreases: If you’re having trouble tolerating pazopanib, your doctor may decrease your dosage. At first, they’ll lower it to 400 mg per day. After that, they may increase or decrease your dosage by 200 mg per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 800 mg taken once per day
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

Special considerations

People with liver problems: If you have moderate liver problems, your doctor will lower your dosage to 200 mg per day. If you have severe liver problems, you shouldn’t take pazopanib.

People who take certain drugs, such as ketoconazole, ritonavir, or clarithromycin: If you’re taking ketoconazole, ritonavir, or clarithromycin, your doctor may decrease your dosage to 400 mg per day. They may decrease your dosage more if you have side effects.

Advanced soft tissue sarcoma

Brand: Votrient

Form: oral tablet
Strength: 200 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • Typical starting dosage: 800 mg taken once per day
  • Dosage decreases: If you’re having trouble tolerating pazopanib, your doctor may decrease your dosage. After that, they may increase or decrease your dosage by 200 mg per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 800 mg taken once per day
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

Special considerations

People with liver problems: If you have moderate liver problems, your doctor will lower your dosage to 200 mg per day. If you have severe liver problems, you shouldn’t take pazopanib.

People who take certain drugs, such as ketoconazole, ritonavir, or clarithromycin: If you’re taking ketoconazole, ritonavir, or clarithromycin, your doctor may decrease your dosage to 400 mg per day. They may decrease your dosage more if you have side effects.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

This drug comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking this drug

Your cancer won’t be treated. It may continue to progress. This may eventually cause death.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • tiredness
  • high blood pressure

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. Don’t take it if it’s within 12 hours of your next dose. Just take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take more than one dose of this drug at a time.

How to tell if the drug is working

You may not be able to tell if this drug is working. Your doctor will monitor your cancer to see if the drug is working for you.

This drug is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug
take without food
Take this drug without food
See Details
timing considerations
Take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor
do not crush
Do not cut or crush the tablet
storage considerations
Store this drug carefully
See Details
medication is refillable
A prescription for this medication is refillable
See Details
travel considerations
Travel
See Details
clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
not usually stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead
prior authorization needed
Insurance
See Details

Take this drug without food

You should take it on an empty stomach. Take it at least 1 hour before eating or 2 hours after.

Store this drug carefully

  • Store this drug at room temperature. Keep it between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C). You can store it for a short time at temperatures between 59°F and 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor should monitor certain health issues during your treatment. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:

  • Liver function. Your doctor will do blood tests to check how well your liver is working. They’ll check your liver function before you start this drug and at weeks 3, 5, 7, and 9 of your treatment. If your liver isn’t working well, your doctor may reduce your dosage or have you stop taking this medication.
  • Heart function. Your doctor will monitor your heart rate and rhythm with an electrocardiogram. They’ll do this before and during your treatment. Your doctor may also do blood tests to check your heart.
  • Blood pressure. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure before and during your treatment with this medication. This drug may increase your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is high, your doctor may give you blood pressure medication.
  • Thyroid function. This drug may lower the level of thyroid hormones in your blood. Your doctor may do blood tests to measure your thyroid hormone levels before and during your treatment with this drug.
  • Kidney function. This drug can harm your kidneys and cause protein to spill out into your urine. Your doctor may ask you to collect a 24-hour urine sample. They’ll test the amount of protein in your urine to check how well your kidneys are working. If you have a significant amount of protein in your urine, your doctor will decrease your dosage or switch you to another drug.

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor may need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does pazopanib Cost?

Oral tablet

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for pazopanib on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on March 10, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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