The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


Treatment Information for Patients

Produced by:

Leeds Cancer Centre  and  Yorkshire Cancer Network

Produced: 20/07/2016 01:00:00




Your treatment contains a single drug : Axitinib. On the day you start your treatment you will be given some tablets to take home. Your must take them TWICE daily. Your treatment usually repeats every 28 days.


Side effects

Everybody reacts differently to treatment. These are some of the side effects you may experience. It is not likely that you would get all the side effects listed here. Please tell your hospital team if you are troubled by any of them. (Please see the notes on when to contact us in your information booklet.) It is also important that you tell your hospital team about any medicines (either those prescribed by your GP or bought from pharmacies or shops) and herbal remedies that you are taking before you start treatment and of any changes whilst you are having treatment.

Blood Tests

Before the start of each treatment we need to test your blood. It may be possible for this test to be done before the day of your treatment. Alternatively, you may have your blood test done on the day of treatment, in which case there will be a delay as we wait for the result. For oral treatments it may be possible for these to be delivered to your home or to a local Boots pharmacy. Your hospital team will be able to give you more information about this.

Bruising and bleeding

This treatment may temporarily make you more likely to bruise or bleed (for example, from the gums). This is because the treatment can have an effect on the cells (platelets) which help the blood to clot. If you notice bruising or bleeding you should ring the hospital for advice.


This treatment may make you anaemic (low haemoglobin and red cell count) which may make you feel tired or lightheaded. We will keep an eye on your blood count during treatment. If you become anaemic you may need to have a blood transfusion. Anaemia caused by the treatment will gradually get better on its own when treatment is completed.

Nausea (feeling sick)

You may feel sick during or after treatment. Some people need medicines to help prevent this side effect. Please ask your hospital team if this is a problem.


This treatment may cause diarrhoea. If you get diarrhoea, it is important that you drink plenty of fluids (2-3 litres or 4-5 pints a day). We may give you some anti-diarrhoea tablets to take home which you can take if you need to. Please contact your hospital team if it doesn't get better soon.

Feeling tired

You may feel tired and lethargic. This may last throughout your treatment and you may need to rest more than usual. Taking gentle exercise can help. Tiredness will generally get better when the treatment is finished but it can last for a few months after treatment. Please let your hospital team know if these symptoms persist or you are finding it difficult to cope. Further information can be found within an information booklet available from your hospital team.

Loss of appetite

Your appetite may reduce and you may find it difficult to eat your meals as normal. If this happens, try to drink 2-3 litres (4-5 pints) of fluid every day even if you are not able to eat very much. Small snacks can be easier to manage than large meals. Special drinks containing nutrients can be prescribed for you if you are losing weight. You may also need some dietary advice. It is not unusual to lose weight but you should ask your hospital team for help if this is a problem.

Joint pain

Two to three days after treatment you may notice pain in your joints. This can last for a few days and you may find paracetamol helpful. Please make sure that you are not already taking any medicines that contain paracetamol. If you are unsure then please check with your hospital team. If the pain continues, please tell your hospital team.

High blood pressure

This treatment can cause high blood pressure in some people.This usually occurs in the first few weeks of taking it. Your blood pressure will be checked weekly for the first six weeks of treatment. If your blood pressure is high you may be prescribed medication to control this.

Urine test

Before each treatment you will be asked to provide a urine sample for the nurse to test.This is to check that there is no problem with your kidneys.

Sore hands and feet

The palms of your hands and the soles of your feet may become red, dry and cracked. You may find it helpful to use a moisturising cream. Please tell the hospital team at your next visit. We can prescribe medicines to help with this side effect.

Thyroid function

This treatment may cause a change in your thyroid function tests. You will have blood tests taken to monitor this during your treatment. Please ask your hospital team for further information.