Votrient is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor medication that’s used to fight cancer. Votrient contains the active ingredient pazopanib. This medicine comes in an oral form and is usually prescribed to treat kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma) or soft tissue sarcomas. Votrient is approved for patients whose cancer has spread beyond its initial location. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe Votrient alongside other cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation. Patients with soft tissue sarcoma must have already received chemotherapy before starting Votrient.

How Does Votrient Work?

Pazopanib belongs to a type of medicine known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This class of drugs prevents your body from using tyrosine kinase, a protein involved in cell communication, growth, and reproduction. Votrient targets the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and their receptors (VEGFR and PDGFR, respectively).

VEGF is a protein that signals new blood vessels to form. When it bonds to VEGFR proteins on the surfaces of cell walls, these cells build new blood vessels as extensions of the existing circulatory system. Making new blood vessels is important during fetal development, childhood, and other growth periods. It’s also a necessary response to injury. However, too much VEGF activity is associated with diseases like cancer and inflammation.

PDGF is a protein that triggers body systems to develop during gestation. It also triggers the development of new blood vessels and blood cells. Similarly to VEGF, overactive PDGF levels are associated with cancer and inflammation.

Cancer patients may grow complex new systems of blood vessels that feed their tumors. This allows the tumors to grow even larger and sometimes spread throughout the body. Votrient fights tumors by blocking the VEGFR and PDGFR receptors. The medicine bonds to these receptor proteins so VEGF and PDGF proteins can’t attach. When the receptors are blocked, the cells don’t receive a message to build new blood vessels or blood cells. This reduces the blood flow to tumors to prevent them from growing.

Votrient Precautions and Warnings

Do not use Votrient if you are allergic to pazopanib or any of the medicine’s inactive ingredients.

Votrient can cause birth defects. Do not take Votrient if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. The medication may pass into breast milk, so patients should also not breastfeed.

Since Votrient keeps your body from building new blood vessels, it can reduce your normal healing responses. You may notice you bruise easier or that wounds take a long time to heal. Tell your doctor if you experience these side effects. Be cautious with knives, razors, and other sharp objects to avoid injury.

Votrient can affect the rhythm of your heart. This condition is called QT prolongation and it can cause irregular heartbeat that sometimes leads to dizziness and fainting. QT prolongation can be fatal in patients with certain conditions. Tell your doctor if you have a history of any of these conditions:

  • Any heart problems or a family history of heart problems
  • Liver disease
  • Chest pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Bleeding or clotting disorders
  • Stomach or digestive problems
  • Low thyroid levels
  • Low potassium levels
  • Low magnesium levels

Votrient Side Effects

Tell your doctor if these side effects get worse or don’t stop.

Some side effects last during treatment but should go away after you stop taking Votrient. These include hair loss, change of hair color, and change of skin color.

Common Side Effects

Votrient patients may notice temporary side effects including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Changed sense of taste
  • Headache
  • Numbness, tingling, or redness in the hands and feet
  • Fatigue

Serious Side Effects

It’s possible to have serious side effects on Votrient. Let your doctor know immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Swollen feet or ankles
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat
  • Unusual weight gain
  • Lack of tolerance to cold or chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat that doesn’t fade
  • Fever
  • Wounds that won’t heal
  • Painful urination
  • Pink or red urine
  • Muscle spasms or muscle weakness
  • Signs of a heart attack or stroke
  • Seizure
  • Blindness

Drug Interactions with Votrient

You should avoid using other medications that can cause QT prolongation. Tell your doctor about all the medicines, supplements, vitamins, and over-the-counter drugs you use to avoid dangerous interactions.

Votrient can cause interactions with the following types of drugs:

  • Aspirin
  • NSAIDs
  • Blood thinners (such as Fragmin and Xarelto)
  • Irinotecan
  • Certain antifungals
  • Nefazodone
  • John’s wort
  • Seizure medications
  • Ritonavir
  • Rifamycins

Strengths and Dosages of Votrient

Votrient comes in 200mg tablets. You should take the tablet whole without crushing, breaking, cutting, or chewing it. Caregivers who may be pregnant or breastfeeding should not handle Votrient tablets since the active ingredient can be absorbed through the skin.

Votrient has the same typical dosage for both kidney cancer and soft tissue sarcomas.

ConditionVotrient Dosage
Kidney cancer (renal cell carincoma)800mg
Soft tissue sarcoma800mg

What is the cost of Votrient in America? 

Votrient is a specialty cancer medication that’s only available through specialty pharmacies and hospitals. This medicine is a limited distribution drug which contributes to its high price.

Votrient costs around $16,000 for 120 200mg tablets. The generic version of Votrient, pazopanib, costs around $15,000 for the same amount. These prices don’t include any discounts or savings. Insurance coverage, coupons, and patient assistance programs may lower the cost for eligible patients.

Alternatives to Votrient

Yes, there are other tyrosine kinase inhibitors available. These medicines include:

  • Afinitor
  • Fotivda
  • Gleevec
  • Ibrance
  • Iclusig
  • Iressa
  • Joenja
  • Nexavar
  • Pemazyre
  • Qinlock
  • Rhopressa
  • Stivarga
  • Tabrecta
  • Tasigna
  • Tykerb
  • Verzenio
  • Vijoice
  • Vonjo
  • Xalkori
  • Xospata

Votrient FAQs

How long does it take for Votrient to start working?

Votrient starts working as soon as you take your first dose.

What has the FDA approved Votrient for?

Votrient is FDA-approved for patients with advanced kidney cancer; and for patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma who have already received chemotherapy.

Is there a generic for Votrient?

Yes, pazopanib is the generic version of Votrient.

Can you use Votrient and alcohol?

Alcohol doesn’t seem to interact with Votrient. However, drinking can make Votrient side effects like headaches, nausea, fatigue, and digestive problems worse. Talk to your doctor about whether you should drink while using Votrient.

How does Votrient work?

Votrient block proteins that signal your body to make new blood vessels around your tumors. This reduces the resources your tumor receives to keep it from growing.

How long can you take Votrient?

You can safely use Votrient for as long as you see results. Your doctor may have you stop taking Votrient when your cancer is in remission since this medicine lowers your immune response.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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