What sorafenib is
Sorafenib is pronounced so-raf-en-ib. It is also known by its brand name Nexavar.
Sorafenib is a treatment for
- Kidney cancer that has spread
- A type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma
- Some types of thyroid cancer when radioactive iodine treatment has not worked
How sorafenib works
Sorafenib is a type of biological therapy called a protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). Tyrosine kinase is a protein which acts as a chemical messenger (an enzyme). There are a number of different tyrosine kinases that encourage cancer cells to grow.
Sorafenib blocks some of the protein kinases and is called a multi kinase inhibitor. It works in two ways. It stops signals that tell cancer cells to grow. It also stops cancer cells forming blood vessels, which they need to grow. Treatment that stops blood vessels forming is called anti angiogenesis treatment.
How you have sorafenib
Sorafenib is a tablet you take with a glass of water. You should take it either without food or with a meal that contains only low amounts of fat. A high fat meal may make sorafenib work less well. If you have a high fat meal, take the tablets at least 1 hour before or 2 hours afterwards.
This medication is used to treat kidney or liver cancer. It may also be used to treat a certain type of thyroid cancer (differentiated thyroid carcinoma). Sorafenibstops or slows the growth of cancer cells (tumors). It also works by slowing the growth of new blood vessels within the tumor.
How to use sorafenib
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using sorafenib and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal) as directed by your doctor, usually twice a day. Do not chew or crush the tablets. Swallow tablets whole with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters).
About side effects
We’ve listed the side effects associated with sorafenib below. You can use the links to find out more about each side effect. Where there is no link, please go to our cancer drug side effects section or use the search box at the top of the page.
You may have a few side effects. They may be mild or more severe. A side effect may get better or worse through your course of treatment. Or more side effects may develop as the course goes on. This depends on