Nexavar (Sorafenib)

Warning : heart problems might occur when taking Nexavar . Temporary or permanent discontinuation of the treatment may be necessary if bleeding occurs. High blood pressure can occur early in the course of treatment with Nexavar. It is recommended to monitor blood pressure weekly during the first 6 weeks and periodically thereafter.  

The medication should be used cautiously in patient having skin toxicities, hypertension, bleeding, cardiac ischemia, and heart attack history. Ask your doctor for a list of side effects and possible risks with this medication.

Indications: Nexavar is mainly used for the treatment of liver cancer or kidney cancer. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

This medication can be prescribed to treat other medical conditions not listed in this article; contact your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Dosage:  Nexavar comes as a tablet to be taken by mouth. An oncologist will adjust your medication dosage based on your health and response to therapy. They may advise stopping treatment for a short time if you start to have certain side effects. Do not take more of this medication than you are prescribed. This will not help your condition to improve faster and could cause serious side effects.

Take Nexavar tablets by mouth on an empty stomach at least one hour before or two hours after a meal. Do not crush or chew the tablet. Swallow the tablet with a full glass of water. It’s best to take this medication at the same time each day to help you remember to take it. Use this medication regularly to ensure the most benefits out of it.

Mechanism of action (MOA): Nexavar is a type of anticancer drug called a kinase inhibitor. It interferes with molecules that are thought to be involved in chemical messages sent within cancer cells, in the formation of blood vessels that supply tumors, and in cell death.

Overdose:  Nexavar overdose can be dangerous if taken for a long term. Chemotherapy drugs, including Nexavar, tend to lead to a decrease in white blood cells and platelets which puts you at risk of serious infections. Follow the directions on the prescription label, or talk to your physician or pharmacist if you don’t understand the indication. Nexavar is a strong medication; take it as prescribed.

Storage:  store Nexavar at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, moisture and heat. Keep Nexavar and all medications out of the reach of children. Do not store Nexavar in the bathroom. Nexavar and all other medications should not be used beyond the expiration date printed on the container.

Missing dose: It is very important to take Nexavar around the same time every day.  In case you forget to take a dose, take the missed one as soon as you remember it. However, if it is time for your next dose,  do not double the next dose to recover the missed one; it can be dangerous. Contact your doctor or wait to go back to your regular schedule.

Interactions: There are certain medications (prescription and non-prescription) that may affect how Nexavar works. Do not start, stop or change the dose of any medications before checking with your doctor first. Make sure to tell your doctor everything you are taking before you start this medication, even herbal medicines.  Tell your doctor or pharmacist especially if you are taking other cancer drugs, blood thinners, and drugs that affect your liver enzymes such as carbamazepine, dexamethasone, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifamycins, and neomycin.  Also tell your doctor if you are taking St. John’s wort.  Make sure to carry a list of all your medications so you can give it to your doctor or pharmacist to check for drug interactions.

Contraindications: Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to anything. There may be certain inactive ingredients in this medication that may cause serious allergic reactions in some people. Let your doctor know your full medical history before you begin taking Nexavar, especially if you have had bleeding problems, heart conditions, high blood pressure or liver problems. Do not receive immunizations or vaccinations while taking this medication without approval from your doctor. Also, avoid contact with people who have recently had the oral polio vaccine or flu nasal mist vaccine.  Be careful around sharp objects such as razors and nail clippers.  Before having dental procedures and surgeries,  tell your dentist or doctor that you are using Nexavar.  Using this medication during pregnancy is not recommended.  Talk to your doctor about your birth control options.  Talk to your doctor if you are breastfeeding. It’s not know if this medication can be passed through breast milk so be advised.

Side effects: Nexavar not only attack cancer cells but also healthy cells, which often leads, in most patients, to the following side effects:

  • pregnancy
  • breastfeeding
  • hair loss
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • nausea and vomitting
  • blue-green urine
  • ulcers in the mouth and lips
  • reduced urine volume

See your health care provider if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • bluish discoloration of the whites of the eyes
  • seizures
  • yellowing of eyes or skin
  • blacktarry stools
  • persistent cough
  • shortness of breath
  • abnormal or accelerated heartbeat
  • severe clinical depression symptoms
  • stomach pain
  • blood in urine or stool
  • fever associated with chills
  • pain in lower back or side
  • pain or difficulty when passing urine
  • swelling of feet and lower legs
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising


1 –,   FDA Approves Nexavar for Patients with Inoperable Liver Cancer

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