This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.

Background and Date of Approval

Sunitinib consist of the active ingredient Sunitinib. It is classified as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, which means that it works by blocking certain enzymes called tyrosine kinases that are involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. This medication is used to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), rare cancer that can start anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract. This medication is also used to treat advanced kidney cancer, and pancreatic cancer called pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNET). Cancer is a disorder in which abnormal cells grow in an uncontrolled manner.  It is not recommended for people under 18. 

Sunitinib was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on January 26, 2006, for the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) after disease progression or intolerance to other medication. Since then, sunitinib has also received FDA approval for other cancer treatments also. Before taking this medication, it is important to discuss with the physician if you have blood conditions, heart problems, liver disorders, kidney problems, skin disorders, diabetes, seizures, or thyroid disorders. Also, inform if you have recently had surgery or are about to have surgery.

Mechanism of Action of undefined

Sunitinib works by including slowing down or stopping the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body, thereby reducing the size and number of tumors. This medication inhibits the activity of specific proteins known as tyrosine kinases, which are involved in the signaling pathways that control cell growth and division. It can help prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading by blocking these pathways.

Uses of undefined

Sunitinib is a targeted therapy medicine used to treat advanced or metastatic kidney cancer, gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), and certain types of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNET). It also uses in the treatment of medullary thyroid cancer.

undefined Drug administaration and Dosage available

Sunitinib is taken orally, in the form of capsules, with a glass of water. The capsules should be swallowed whole and not crushed, chewed, or opened. The recommended dose may vary depending on the type of cancer being treated, the patient's age and weight, and other factors. This medication is usually taken once a day, with or without food, at around the same time each day. If you miss a dose then do not double the dose to compensate for the missed dose.

Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined


Sunitinib has several warnings that patients should be aware of. It can cause serious and sometimes fatal liver problems, including liver failure and death, which may occur suddenly and without symptoms. It can also cause heart problems, including heart failure and heart attack, which can be fatal in some cases. Patients with pre-existing liver or heart conditions may be at a higher risk of developing these complications. Other warnings include the risk of high blood pressure, bleeding, and gastrointestinal perforation, which can be life-threatening. This medication can also cause thyroid dysfunction, leading to hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, and can affect wound healing.


There are several precautions that patients should take when using sunitinib. Patients should inform their healthcare provider of any pre-existing medical conditions, including liver or heart problems, thyroid disorders, bleeding disorders, or gastrointestinal problems. It may also increase the risk of infections, so patients should avoid close contact with people who have infections. Check with your dentist if you have any problems in the mouth, such as mouth pain, swelling, or sores inside the mouth before starting treatment.

Side Effects

Sunitinib may cause a range of side effects, which can vary in severity and frequency. Common side effects include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, hand-foot syndrome, skin discoloration or rash, high blood pressure, headache, hair loss, changes in taste, dry skin, itching, and nosebleeds. More serious side effects can include heart problems, liver problems, kidney problems, lung problems, hemorrhage, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, and rare skin reactions. If you experience any side effects while taking this medication, it is important to inform your healthcare provider.

Word Of Advice

If you have been prescribed sunitinib, it is important to follow your healthcare provider's instructions. During treatment avoid taking grapefruit or grapefruit juice as it can increase the levels of medication in the blood and potentially increase the risk of side effects. Use a reliable method of birth control while taking the medication and for at least four weeks after the last dose. This medication can cause serious side effects, so it is important to be vigilant and informed about your treatment. Make sure to report any symptoms or changes in your health, even if they seem minor. With proper precautions and monitoring, it can be an effective treatment for certain types of cancer.

Frequently Asked Question


  1. Pfizer, U.S Drug and food safety administration (FDA), [Revised on Dec 2018], [Accessed on 5th April 2023],
  2. Anton Wellstein, Giuseppe Giaccone, Michael B. Atkins, and Edward A. Sausville, Pathway-Targeted Therapies: Monoclonal Antibodies, Protein Kinase Inhibitors, and Various Small Molecules, Goodman & Gilman’s Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 13th Edition, 2018, 1203-1236.
  3. Robert J. Thomson; Majid Moshirfar; Yasmyne Ronquillo, Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors, [Revised on 21st Jan 2021] [Accessed on 5th April 2023],
  4. Pfizer, Electronic Medicines Compendium (EMC) [Revised on Mar 2021] [Accessed on 5th April 2023],
  5. KD Tripathi, Anticancer Drugs, Essentials of Medical Pharmacology, 8th Edition, 2019, 915-936


The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice. It is meant for educational purposes only. For further details, consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you can receive this treatment.