Vandetanib is used to treat medullary thyroid cancer.


What is Vandetanib?

Vandetanib is a kinase inhibitor. It works by preventing the growth of cancer cells.


How should Vandetanib be taken?

Vandetanib is administered orally.


Side effects associated with Vandetanib

Vandetanib may cause severe bleeding and increase the risk of stroke. It can also trigger severe skin rash, increase the skin's sensitivity to sunlight and increase the risk of serious heart failure, leukoencephalopathy syndrome and interstitial lung diseases.


Among the other possible side effects of vandetanib include the following:


  • Acne
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild stomach pain or discomfort
  • Nail changes
  • Nausea
  • Changes in taste
  • Fatigue
  • Infections of the upper airway
  • Vomiting


It is important to contact a doctor immediately if you experience:


  • Rash
  • Urticaria
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue
  • Wounds that do not heal
  • Unusual or disturbing thoughts
  • Blood in the urine or sputum
  • Fainting
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Persistent fever, chills or sore throat
  • Articolar pains
  • Feeling faint or lightheaded
  • Psychological or behavioral problems
  • Sores or blisters in the mouth
  • Muscle pain, spasms or cramps
  • Numbness or tingling in the lips, tongue, fingers or feet
  • Severe or persistent cough
  • Severe or persistent diarrhea, dizziness , headache, fatigue or weakness
  • Indolence
  • Coordination difficulties (walking or balancing)
  • Tingling, pain, redness or swelling of the palms or soles of the feet
  • Bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Vision problems
  • Vomit that looks like coffee


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Vandetanib

Vandetanib may be contraindicated in cases involving abnormal heartbeat, uncontrolled heart failure, liver problems, bleeding problems, or low levels of potassium, calcium or magnesium in the blood.

Vandetanib should also not be taken with St. John's wort, antiarrhythmics or any other drugs that increase the risk of QT prolongation.


The intake of the drug can impair the ability to drive or operate hazardous machinery. This side effect may be aggravated by alcohol and certain other medications.


Before starting treatment with vandetanib, it is important to tell your doctor if:


  • You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients or to any other drugs, food or various substances
  • You are taking any other medications, herbal remedies or supplements. Mentioning in particular:  medications against allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems, cancers, depression or other psychological problems, HIV, infections, inflammation, heart problems, dependence on narcotics, nausea or vomiting, pain, convulsions, Tourette's syndrome, immunosuppressive agents, hormone replacement therapy or St. John's wort
  • You are suffering (or have suffered) from QT prolongation or other heart problems, kidney problems, lung disorders, respiratory or bleeding problems, high blood pressure, alteration in the levels of electrolytes in the blood, hypothyroidism, elevated TSH levels in the blood, skin problems, diarrhea, low white blood cells or platelets
  • You have recently suffered from a heart attack or stroke
  • You have a family history of QT prolongation
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding


It is important to inform physicians, surgeons and dentists of any ongoing treatment with vandetanib.


Women of childbearing age must use effective birth control methods during treatment  and for at least 4 (or more) months after discontinuation.