Nexavar

Last updated on RxList: 7/7/2020
Nexavar Side Effects Center

What Is Nexavar?

Nexavar (sorafenib) is a cancer (chemotherapeutic) medication used to treat a type of kidney cancer called advanced renal cell carcinoma. Nexavar is also used to treat liver cancer.

What Are Side Effects of Nexavar?

Common side effects of Nexavar include:

Tell your doctor if you notice skin problems (such as rash, blisters, redness, swelling, pain), especially on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet while using Nexavar.

Dosage for Nexavar

The recommended daily dose of Nexavar is 400 mg (2 x 200 mg tablets) taken twice daily without food (at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal).

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Nexavar?

Nexavar may interact with warfarin, dexamethasone, rifampin, St. John's wort, seizure medication, or other cancer medications. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Nexavar During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Nexavar is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus. Men and women must use birth control during treatment and for at least 2 weeks after stopping this drug. Consult your doctor. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breastfeeding while using this drug is not recommended.

Additional Information

Our Nexavar (sorafenib) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

QUESTION

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Nexavar Consumer Information

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Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Get emergency medical help if you have symptoms of a heart attack or heart failure: chest pain, fast heartbeats, sweating, nausea, trouble breathing, feeling light-headed, or swelling around your midsection or in your lower legs.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest;
  • shortness of breath, sudden dizziness (like you might pass out);
  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);
  • heavy menstrual periods or unusual vaginal bleeding;
  • pain, redness, swelling, rash, blisters or peeling in the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet;
  • fever with nausea, vomiting, or severe stomach pain
  • a surgical incision or wound that will not heal;
  • liver problems--loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), nausea, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • signs of bleeding inside your body--pink or brown urine, abnormal vaginal bleeding, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Your cancer treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.

Common side effects may include:

  • bleeding;
  • feeling tired;
  • vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain;
  • high blood pressure;
  • rash; or
  • weight loss, thinning hair.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Nexavar (Sorafenib)

SLIDESHOW

Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow
Nexavar Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed elsewhere in the labeling:

  • Cardiac ischemia, infarction [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hemorrhage [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hypertension [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hand-foot skin reaction, rash, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Gastrointestinal perforation [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • QT Interval Prolongation [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]
  • Drug-Induced Hepatitis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Impairment of TSH suppression in DTC [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The data described reflect exposure to NEXAVAR in 955 patients who participated in placebo controlled studies in hepatocellular carcinoma (N=297), advanced renal cell carcinoma (N=451), or differentiated thyroid carcinoma (N = 207).

The most common adverse reactions (≥20%), which were considered to be related to NEXAVAR, in patients with HCC, RCC or DTC are diarrhea, fatigue, infection, alopecia, hand-foot skin reaction, rash, weight loss, decreased appetite, nausea, gastrointestinal and abdominal pains, hypertension, and hemorrhage.

Adverse Reactions In SHARP (HCC)

Table 4 shows the percentage of patients in the SHARP (HCC) study experiencing adverse reactions that were reported in at least 10% of patients and at a higher rate in the NEXAVAR arm than the placebo arm. CTCAE Grade 3 adverse reactions were reported in 39% of patients receiving NEXAVAR compared to 24% of patients receiving placebo. CTCAE Grade 4 adverse reactions were reported in 6% of patients receiving NEXAVAR compared to 8% of patients receiving placebo.

Table 4: Adverse Reactions Reported in at Least 10% of Patients and at a Higher Rate in NEXAVAR Arm than the Placebo Arm – SHARP (HCC)

NEXAVAR
N=297
Placebo
N=302
Adverse Reaction NCI-CTCAE v3 Category/TermAll Grades
%
Grade 3
%
Grade 4
%
All Grades
%
Grade 3
%
Grade 4
%
Any Adverse Reaction9839696248
Constitutional symptoms
  Fatigue469145122
  Weight loss30201010
Dermatology/skin
  Rash/desquamation19101400
  Pruritus14<1011<10
  Hand-foot skin reaction21803<10
  Dry skin1000600
  Alopecia1400200
Gastrointestinal
  Diarrhea5510<12520
  Anorexia2930183<1
  Nausea24102030
  Vomiting15201120
  Constipation14001000
Hepatobiliary/pancreas
  Liver dysfunction1121821
Pain
  Pain, abdomen31902651

Hypertension was reported in 9% of patients treated with NEXAVAR and 4% of those treated with placebo. CTCAE Grade 3 hypertension was reported in 4% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 1% of placebo-treated patients. No patients were reported with CTCAE Grade 4 reactions in either treatment group.

Hemorrhage/bleeding was reported in 18% of those receiving NEXAVAR and 20% of placebo-treated patients. The rates of CTCAE Grade 3 and 4 bleeding were also higher in the placebo-treated group (CTCAE Grade 3 – 3% NEXAVAR and 5% placebo and CTCAE Grade 4 – 2% NEXAVAR and 4% placebo). Bleeding from esophageal varices was reported in 2.4% in NEXAVAR-treated patients and 4% of placebo-treated patients.

Renal failure was reported in <1% of patients treated with NEXAVAR and 3% of placebo-treated patients.

The rate of adverse reactions (including those associated with progressive disease) resulting in permanent discontinuation was similar in both the NEXAVAR and placebo-treated groups (32% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 35% of placebo-treated patients).

Laboratory Abnormalities

The following laboratory abnormalities were observed in patients with HCC:

Hypophosphatemia was a common laboratory finding observed in 35% of NEXAVAR-treated patients compared to 11% of placebo-treated patients; CTCAE Grade 3 hypophosphatemia (1–2 mg/dL) occurred in 11% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 2% of patients in the placebo-treated group; there was 1 case of CTCAE Grade 4 hypophosphatemia (<1 mg/dL) reported in the placebo-treated group. The etiology of hypophosphatemia associated with NEXAVAR is not known.

Elevated lipase was observed in 40% of patients treated with NEXAVAR compared to 37% of patients in the placebo-treated group. CTCAE Grade 3 or 4 lipase elevations occurred in 9% of patients in each group. Elevated amylase was observed in 34% of patients treated with NEXAVAR compared to 29% of patients in the placebo-treated group. CTCAE Grade 3 or 4 amylase elevations were reported in 2% of patients in each group. Many of the lipase and amylase elevations were transient, and in the majority of cases NEXAVAR treatment was not interrupted. Clinical pancreatitis was reported in 1 of 297 NEXAVAR-treated patients (CTCAE Grade 2).

Elevations in liver function tests were comparable between the 2 arms of the study. Hypoalbuminemia was observed in 59% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 47% of placebo-treated patients; no CTCAE Grade 3 or 4 hypoalbuminemia was observed in either group.

INR elevations were observed in 42% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 34% of placebo-treated patients; CTCAE Grade 3 INR elevations were reported in 4% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 2% of placebo-treated patients; there was no CTCAE Grade 4 INR elevation in either group.

Lymphopenia was observed in 47% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 42% of placebo-treated patients.

Thrombocytopenia was observed in 46% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 41% of placebo-treated patients; CTCAE Grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia was reported in 4% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and less than 1% of placebo-treated patients.

Hypocalcemia was reported in 27% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 15% of placebo-treated patients. CTCAE Grade 3 hypocalcemia (6–7 mg /dL) occurred in 2% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 1% of placebo-treated patients. CTCAE Grade 4 hypocalcemia (<6 mg/dL) occurred in 0.4% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and in no placebo-treated patients.

Hypokalemia was reported in 9.5% of NEXAVAR-treated patients compared to 5.9% of placebo-treated patients. Most reports of hypokalemia were low grade (CTCAE Grade 1). CTCAE Grade 3 hypokalemia occurred in 0.4% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 0.7% of placebo-treated patients. There were no reports of Grade 4 hypokalemia.

Adverse Reactions In TARGET (RCC)

Table 5 shows the percentage of patients in the TARGET (RCC) study experiencing adverse reactions that were reported in at least 10% of patients and at a higher rate in the NEXAVAR arm than the placebo arm. CTCAE Grade 3 adverse reactions were reported in 31% of patients receiving NEXAVAR compared to 22% of patients receiving placebo. CTCAE Grade 4 adverse reactions were reported in 7% of patients receiving NEXAVAR compared to 6% of patients receiving placebo.

Table 5: Adverse Reactions Reported in at Least 10% of Patients and at a Higher Rate in NEXAVAR Arm than the Placebo Arm – TARGET (RCC)

NEXAVAR
N=451
Placebo
N=451
Adverse Reactions NCI-CTCAE v3 Category/TermAll Grades
%
Grade 3
%
Grade 4
%
All Grades
%
Grade 3
%
Grade 4
%
Any Adverse Reactions9531786226
Cardiovascular, General
  Hypertension173<12<10
Constitutional symptoms
  Fatigue375<1283<1
  Weight loss10<10600
Dermatology/skin
  Rash/desquamation40<1016<10
  Hand-foot skin reaction3060700
  Alopecia27<10300
  Pruritus19<10600
  Dry skin1100400
Gastrointestinal symptoms
  Diarrhea432013<10
  Nausea23<1019<10
  Anorexia16<101310
  Vomiting16<101210
  Constipation15<1011<10
Hemorrhage/bleeding
  Hemorrhage – all sites152081<1
Neurology
  Neuropathy-sensory13<106<10
Pain
  Pain, abdomen1120920
  Pain, joint10206<10
  Pain, headache10<106<10
Pulmonary
  Dyspnea143<1122<1

The rate of adverse reactions (including those associated with progressive disease) resulting in permanent discontinuation was similar in both the NEXAVAR and placebo-treated groups (10% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 8% of placebo-treated patients).

Laboratory Abnormalities

The following laboratory abnormalities were observed in patients with RCC in Study 1:

Hypophosphatemia was a common laboratory finding observed in 45% of NEXAVAR-treated patients compared to 11% of placebo-treated patients. CTCAE Grade 3 hypophosphatemia (1–2 mg/dL) occurred in 13% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 3% of patients in the placebo-treated group. There were no cases of CTCAE Grade 4 hypophosphatemia (<1 mg/dL) reported in either NEXAVAR or placebo-treated patients. The etiology of hypophosphatemia associated with NEXAVAR is not known.

Elevated lipase was observed in 41% of patients treated with NEXAVAR compared to 30% of patients in the placebo-treated group. CTCAE Grade 3 or 4 lipase elevations occurred in 12% of patients in the NEXAVAR-treated group compared to 7% of patients in the placebo-treated group. Elevated amylase was observed in 30% of patients treated with NEXAVAR compared to 23% of patients in the placebo-treated group. CTCAE Grade 3 or 4 amylase elevations were reported in 1% of patients in the NEXAVAR-treated group compared to 3% of patients in the placebo-treated group. Many of the lipase and amylase elevations were transient, and in the majority of cases NEXAVAR treatment was not interrupted. Clinical pancreatitis was reported in 3 of 451 NEXAVAR- treated patients (one CTCAE Grade 2 and two Grade 4) and 1 of 451 patients (CTCAE Grade 2) in the placebo-treated group.

Lymphopenia was observed in 23% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 13% of placebo-treated patients. CTCAE Grade 3 or 4 lymphopenia was reported in 13% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 7% of placebo-treated patients. Neutropenia was observed in 18% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 10% of placebo-treated patients. CTCAE Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia was reported in 5% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 2% of placebo-treated patients.

Anemia was observed in 44% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 49% of placebo-treated patients. CTCAE Grade 3 or 4 anemia was reported in 2% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 4% of placebo-treated patients.

Thrombocytopenia was observed in 12% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 5% of placebo-treated patients. CTCAE Grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia was reported in 1% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and in no placebo-treated patients.

Hypocalcemia was reported in 12% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 8% of placebo-treated patients. CTCAE Grade 3 hypocalcemia (6–7 mg/dL) occurred in 1% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 0.2% of placebo-treated patients, and CTCAE Grade 4 hypocalcemia (<6 mg/dL) occurred in 1% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 0.5% of placebo-treated patients.

Hypokalemia was reported in 5.4% of NEXAVAR-treated patients compared to 0.7% of placebo-treated patients. Most reports of hypokalemia were low grade (CTCAE Grade 1). CTCAE Grade 3 hypokalemia occurred in 1.1% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 0.2% of placebo-treated patients. There were no reports of Grade 4 hypokalemia.

Adverse Reactions In DECISION (DTC)

The safety of NEXAVAR was evaluated in DECISION in 416 patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) refractory to radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment randomized to receive 400 mg twice daily NEXAVAR (n=207) or matching placebo (n=209) until disease progression or intolerable toxicity in a double-blind trial [see Clinical Studies]. The data described below reflect a median exposure to NEXAVAR for 46 weeks (range 0.3 to 135). The population exposed to NEXAVAR was 50% male, and had a median age of 63 years.

Dose interruptions for adverse reactions were required in 66% of patients receiving NEXAVAR and 64% of patients had their dose reduced. Drug-related adverse reactions that resulted in treatment discontinuation were reported in 14% of NEXAVAR-treated patients compared to 1.4% of placebo-treated patients.

Table 6 shows the percentage of DTC patients experiencing adverse reactions at a higher rate in NEXAVAR-treated patients than placebo-treated patients in the double-blind phase of the DECISION study. CTCAE Grade 3 adverse reactions occurred in 53% of NEXAVAR-treated patients compared to 23% of placebo-treated patients. CTCAE Grade 4 adverse reactions occurred in 12% of NEXAVAR-treated patients compared to 7% of placebo-treated patients.

Table 6: Per-Patient Incidence of Selected Adverse Reactions Occurring at a Higher Incidence in NEXAVAR-Treated Patients [Between Arm Difference of ≥ 5% (All Grades)1 or ≥ 2% (Grades 3 and 4)]

MedDRA Primary System Organ Class & Preferred TermNEXAVAR
N = 207
Placebo
N = 209
All Grades
(%)
Grades 3 and 4
(%)
All Grades
(%)
Grades 3 and 4
(%)
Gastrointestinal disorders
  Diarrhea686151
  Nausea210120
  Abdominal pain220171
  Constipation16080.5
  Stomatitis324230
  Vomiting110.560
  Oral pain414030
General disorders and administration site conditions
  Fatigue415201
  Asthenia12070
  Pyrexia11150
Investigations
  Weight loss496141
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
  Decreased appetite30250
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders
  Pain in extremity15170
  Muscle spasms10030
Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified
  Squamous cell carcinoma of skin3300
Nervous system disorders
  Headache17060
  Dysgeusia6000
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders
  Dysphonia130.530
  Epistaxis7010
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
  PPES5691980
  Alopecia67080
  Rash35570
  Pruritus200.5110
  Dry skin130.550
  Erythema1000.50
  Hyperkeratosis7000
Vascular disorders
  Hypertension64110122
1 National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events Version 3.0
2 Includes the following terms: abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort, hepatic pain, esophageal pain, esophageal discomfort, abdominal pain lower, abdominal pain upper, abdominal tenderness, abdominal rigidity
3 Includes the following terms: stomatitis, aphthous stomatitis, mouth ulceration, mucosal inflammation
4 Includes the following terms: oral pain, oropharyngeal discomfort, glossitis, burning mouth syndrome, glossodynia
5 Palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (Hand-foot skin reaction)
6 Includes the following terms: hypertension, blood pressure increased, blood pressure systolic increased

Laboratory Abnormalities

Elevated TSH levels are discussed elsewhere in the labeling [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. The relative increase for the following laboratory abnormalities observed in NEXAVAR-treated DTC patients as compared to placebo-treated patients is similar to that observed in the RCC and HCC studies: lipase, amylase, hypokalemia, hypophosphatemia, neutropenia, lymphopenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia.

Serum ALT and AST elevations were observed in 59% and 54% of the NEXAVAR-treated patients as compared to 24% and 15% of placebo-treated patients, respectively. High grade (≥ 3) ALT and AST elevations were observed in 4% and 2%, respectively, in the NEXAVAR-treated patients as compared to none of the placebo-treated patients.

Hypocalcemia was more frequent and more severe in patients with DTC, especially those with a history of hypoparathyroidism, compared to patients with RCC or HCC. Hypocalcemia was observed in 36% of DTC patients receiving NEXAVAR (with 10% ≥ Grade 3) as compared with 11% of placebo-treated patients (3% ≥ Grade 3). In the DECISION (DTC) study, serum calcium levels were monitored monthly.

Additional Data From Multiple Clinical Trials

The following additional drug-related adverse reactions and laboratory abnormalities were reported from clinical trials of NEXAVAR (very common 10% or greater, common 1 to less than 10%, uncommon 0.1% to less than 1%, rare less than 0.1 %):

Cardiovascular: Common: congestive heart failure*, myocardial ischemia and/or infarction Uncommon: hypertensive crisis* Rare: QT prolongation*

Dermatologic: Very common: erythema Common: exfoliative dermatitis, acne, flushing, folliculitis, hyperkeratosis Uncommon: eczema, erythema multiforme

Digestive: Very common: increased lipase, increased amylase Common: mucositis, stomatitis (including dry mouth and glossodynia), dyspepsia, dysphagia, gastrointestinal reflux Uncommon: pancreatitis, gastritis, gastrointestinal perforations*, cholecystitis, cholangitis

Note that elevations in lipase are very common (41%, see below); a diagnosis of pancreatitis should not be made solely on the basis of abnormal laboratory values

General Disorders: Very common: infection, hemorrhage (including gastrointestinal* and respiratory tract* and uncommon cases of cerebral hemorrhage*), asthenia, pain (including mouth, bone, and tumor pain), pyrexia, decreased appetite Common: influenza-like illness

Hematologic: Very common: leukopenia, lymphopenia Common: anemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia Uncommon: INR abnormal

Hepatobiliary disorders: Rare: drug-induced hepatitis (including hepatic failure and death)

Hypersensitivity: Uncommon: hypersensitivity reactions (including skin reactions and urticaria), anaphylactic reaction

Metabolic and Nutritional: Very common: hypophosphatemia Common: transient increases in transaminases, hypocalcemia, hypokalemia, hyponatremia, hypothyroidism Uncommon: dehydration, transient increases in alkaline phosphatase, increased bilirubin (including jaundice), hyperthyroidism

Musculoskeletal: Very common: arthralgia Common: myalgia, muscle spasms

Nervous System and Psychiatric: Common: depression, dysgeusia Uncommon: tinnitus, reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy*

Renal and Genitourinary: Common: renal failure, proteinuria Rare: nephrotic syndrome

Reproductive: Common: erectile dysfunction Uncommon: gynecomastia

Respiratory: Common: rhinorrhea Uncommon: interstitial lung disease-like events (includes reports of pneumonitis, radiation pneumonitis, acute respiratory distress, interstitial pneumonia, pulmonitis and lung inflammation)

In addition, the following medically significant adverse reactions were uncommon during clinical trials of NEXAVAR: transient ischemic attack, arrhythmia, and thromboembolism. For these adverse reactions, the causal relationship to NEXAVAR has not been established.

*adverse reactions may have a life-threatening or fatal outcome.
reported in 1.9% of patients treated with NEXAVAR (N= 2276).

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse drug reactions have been identified during post-approval use of NEXAVAR. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Blood and lymphatic disorders: Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA)

Dermatologic: Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)

Hypersensitivity: Angioedema

Musculoskeletal: Rhabdomyolysis, osteonecrosis of the jaw

Respiratory: Interstitial lung disease-like events (which may have a life-threatening or fatal outcome)

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Nexavar (Sorafenib)

© Nexavar Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Nexavar Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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