Treatment Name: Axitinib (Inlyta®)
How does axitinib work?
Axitinib is designed to slow the growth of cancer cells by inhibiting several mechanisms that the cell uses to grow and survive. Axitinib is in a class of medications called Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs).
Goals of therapy:
Axitinib is taken to shrink kidney tumors and decrease symptoms of Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC). Axitinib is not commonly given with the goal of cure.
Common Starting Dose:
- Axitinib 5 mg by mouth twice daily
Typically, the dose of axitinib is increased to 7 mg twice daily if no serious side effects are seen and blood pressure is normal after two consecutive weeks of therapy. Then, if no serious side effects are seen and blood pressure is normal after another two consecutive weeks of therapy, the dose of axitinib is increased to 10 mg twice daily.
Axitinib is usually taken at home. Typically, therapy with axitinib is continued until the drug no longer works or unacceptable toxicity is experienced.
In clinical studies, the most commonly reported side effects with axitinib are shown here. Side effects sometimes have percentage ranges [example 50 – 55%] because they differed between in clinical studies:
- Diarrhea (50 - 55%)
- High blood pressure (40 - 49%)
- Anemia [low red blood cells] (35%)
- Fatigue (33 - 39%)
- Decreased appetite (29 - 34%)
- Rash and blistering on soles of hands and feet (27%)
- Weight loss (25 - 37%)
- Nausea (20 - 32%)
- Changes in voice (23 - 31%)
- Vomiting (24%)
- Muscle weakness (21%)
- Constipation (20%)
- Increased bleeding risk [low platelets] (15%)
- Mouth sores (15%)
- Cough (15%)
- Joint pain (15%)
- Rash (10 - 13%)
- Low white blood cells (6%)
- Hair loss (4%)
On average, 4 - 5% of patients discontinue axitinib due to unacceptable side effects.
How often is monitoring needed?
Labs (blood tests) may be checked before treatment, then every other week for the first 4 weeks, then every 4 weeks until the end of treatment. Labs often include: Complete Blood Count (CBC), Complete Metabolic Panel (CMP), urinalysis, and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
How often is imaging needed?
Imaging may be checked before treatment, then after 6 weeks since starting treatment, then after 12 months since starting treatment, then every 8 weeks until the endof treatment. Imaging may include: computerized tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and bone scans
How might blood test results/imaging affect treatment?
Depending upon the results, your doctor may advise to continue axitinib as planned, or delay or switch therapy
- Axitinib can possibly impair your body’s ability to heal various wounds. Talk to your oncologist about any planned surgeries and let your surgeon know that you are taking axitinib
- A pharmacist should ALWAYS review your medication list to ensure that drug interactions are prevented or managed appropriately
- You can tell if a medication is a TKI if the name ends in "nib," such as axitinib. TKIs are usually oral medications taken by mouth
- Clinical trials may exist for renal cell carcinoma. Ask your doctor if any studies are currently enrolling in your area. If not, go to clinicaltrials.gov to search for other centers offering study medications
Patient Assistance & Co-payment Coverage
Patients under the age of 65 years, or those with private insurance plans:
If you have insurance and are looking for patient assistance or copay assistance for Axitinib (Inlyta®), we have provided links that may help.
Visit our Patient Assistance page and click the links to various patient assistance programs for help paying for Axitinib (Inlyta®). Depending upon your income, they may be able to help cover the cost of:
For Branded medications (may be available for generic medications too), check with the manufacturer to determine if a co-pay card is offered and if it could reduce your monthly copay.
- If you are uninsured, check with the manufacturer to determine if you are eligible to receive medication at no cost.
Medicare and Medicaid patients (Patients 65 years or older):
The clinic providing treatment will likely pre-authorize medications and immune therapies such as Axitinib (Inlyta®) and are the best source to help you understand drug cost.
- Ask to speak with a patient assistance technician or financial counselor at the clinic or hospital administering this therapy.
What is Emotional Wellness?
Emotional wellness is having a positive outlook balanced with a realistic understanding of current life events. This requires both an awareness and acceptance of your emotions. It is with this knowledge that you can develop a plan to take the necessary actions to positively impact your life.
Emotional wellness uses an ongoing process to continually reflect on the stressors of life in a constructive manner to move forward and create happiness.
Because emotional wellness is deeply connected with physical, social, and spiritual wellness, pursuing it often becomes particularly difficult in times of major illness. Despite this difficulty, working toward emotional wellness has been connected to improved treatment outcomes and a higher likelihood of achieving goals of therapy.
Learn more about pursuing emotional wellness while receiving treatment with Axitinib (Inlyta®)