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Why is this medication prescribed?

Fruquintinib is a prescription medication primarily used for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. It belongs to a class of drugs called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors. Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that affects the colon or rectum, and when it metastasizes, it spreads to other parts of the body.

Fruquintinib works by inhibiting the activity of VEGF receptors, which are involved in the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and spread. By blocking these receptors, fruquintinib can help to slow down the growth and spread of cancer cells, thus potentially extending the lifespan and improving the quality of life for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

How should this medicine be used?

Fruquintinib is typically used as an oral medication, administered in the form of capsules. Here are the general guidelines for how Fruquintinib should be used:

  • Dosage: The recommended dosage of Fruquintinib can vary depending on factors such as the patient’s weight, overall health, and the severity of the condition being treated. The specific dosage will be determined by the prescribing healthcare provider and should be strictly followed.
  • Administration: Fruquintinib capsule should be taken orally, usually once daily. They are typically taken on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after a meal.
  • Swallowing: The capsule should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. They should not be crushed, chewed, or broken before swallowing.
  • Timing: Patients should try to take Fruquintinib at the same time each day to maintain a consistent level of the medication in their bloodstream.
  • Duration: Treatment with Fruquintinib may continue as long as the patient is benefiting from it and not experiencing intolerable side effects. The duration of treatment will be determined by the healthcare provider based on the patient’s response to the medication and the progression of the disease.
  • Monitoring: Patients using Fruquintinib may require regular monitoring of their blood pressure, liver function, and other relevant parameters. This monitoring helps healthcare providers assess the effectiveness of the medication and detect any potential side effects early.
  • Adherence: It’s crucial for patients to adhere closely to their prescribed dosage regimen and to take the medication exactly as directed by their healthcare provider. Missing doses or altering the dosage without medical guidance can affect the effectiveness of the treatment.

Patients should also be aware of potential side effects associated with Fruquintinib and report any concerning symptoms to their healthcare provider promptly. Additionally, they should not discontinue the medication without consulting their doctor first.

Other uses for this medicine

Fruquintinib is primarily indicated for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) and may not be approved or recommended for other uses. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for any off-label uses or investigational purposes.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for Fruquintinib use, here are some important considerations:

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Fruquintinib may cause harm to a developing fetus, so it’s crucial to avoid pregnancy while taking this medication. Effective contraception should be used during treatment and for some time after discontinuation, as advised by the healthcare provider. Similarly, breastfeeding should be avoided, as it’s not known whether Fruquintinib passes into breast milk.
  • Liver function: Fruquintinib can affect liver function, potentially causing liver enzyme elevations and liver damage. Regular monitoring of liver function tests is necessary during treatment. Patients with pre-existing liver conditions may require additional monitoring and dose adjustments.
  • Hypertension: Fruquintinib may cause hypertension (high blood pressure). Blood pressure should be monitored regularly during treatment, and antihypertensive medications may be necessary to manage elevated blood pressure. Patients with a history of hypertension should have their blood pressure controlled before starting Fruquintinib.
  • Cardiac effects: Fruquintinib may lead to cardiac events such as myocardial ischemia or infarction, QT interval prolongation, and arrhythmias. Patients with a history of cardiac disease or risk factors should be closely monitored, and cardiac function assessments may be required before and during treatment.
  • Gastrointestinal perforation: Fruquintinib may increase the risk of gastrointestinal perforation. Patients should be monitored for signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal perforation, such as severe abdominal pain, fever, or signs of peritonitis.
  • Wound healing: Fruquintinib may impair wound healing. Patients undergoing surgery should discontinue Fruquintinib at least four weeks before elective surgery and should not resume treatment until the surgical wound is fully healed.
  • Other medications: Patients should inform their healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products they are taking, as they may interact with Fruquintinib, potentially affecting its efficacy or increasing the risk of adverse effects.

These precautions are not exhaustive, and patients should always follow their healthcare provider’s instructions and guidance when using Fruquintinib or any other medication.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Special dietary instructions for Fruquintinib are generally not specified. However, it’s important to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet to support overall health and wellbeing during cancer treatment. Patients should consult with their healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for personalized dietary recommendations based on their individual health status and treatment regimen.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If a dose of Fruquintinib is missed, the missed dose should be skipped, and the next dose should be taken at the regular scheduled time. Patients should not double the dose to make up for the missed one. It’s essential to maintain consistent dosing intervals to ensure the medication’s effectiveness. If patients have any concerns or questions about missed doses, they should consult their healthcare provider for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Fruquintinib, like many medications, can cause side effects. Common side effects may include:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure): Fruquintinib can cause an increase in blood pressure. Regular monitoring of blood pressure is necessary during treatment.
  • Hand-foot syndrome: This condition can cause redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
  • Diarrhea: Some patients may experience diarrhea as a side effect of Fruquintinib treatment.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or fatigued is a common side effect reported by patients taking Fruquintinib.
  • Stomatitis (mouth sores): Some patients may develop sores or ulcers in the mouth as a side effect of Fruquintinib treatment.
  • Proteinuria (protein in the urine): Fruquintinib may cause increased levels of protein in the urine.
  • Decreased appetite: Some patients may experience a decrease in appetite while taking Fruquintinib.
  • Nausea and vomiting: These gastrointestinal symptoms can occur as side effects of Fruquintinib treatment.
  • Liver function abnormalities: Fruquintinib can affect liver function, leading to elevated liver enzyme levels or liver damage.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or weak is a common side effect reported by patients taking Fruquintinib.
  • Weight loss: Some patients may experience weight loss while taking Fruquintinib.
  • Headache: Headaches are another possible side effect of Fruquintinib treatment.

It’s important for patients to report any side effects they experience to their healthcare provider. Depending on the severity of the side effects, dose adjustments or supportive care measures may be necessary. Additionally, patients should not discontinue Fruquintinib without consulting their healthcare provider first, as abrupt discontinuation can have adverse effects on the treatment outcome.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and Disposal:

  • Storage: Fruquintinib should be stored at room temperature, away from excessive heat, moisture, and light. Keep it in its original packaging or container, out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Unused or expired Fruquintinib capsule should be disposed of properly according to local regulations. Do not flush them down the toilet or throw them in the trash. Consult with your pharmacist or healthcare provider on the proper disposal method, which may involve returning them to a pharmacy or utilizing a drug take-back program.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Emergency: In case of a medical emergency, such as severe adverse reactions or allergic reactions (e.g., difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, hives), seek immediate medical attention by calling emergency services or visiting the nearest emergency room.
  • Overdose: If you suspect an overdose of Fruquintinib or experience symptoms such as severe dizziness, fainting, rapid heartbeat, or seizures, contact your healthcare provider or poison control center (1-800-222-1222 in the United States) immediately. Provide them with details such as the amount of medication taken and when it was ingested.

What other information should I know?

  • Follow-up Appointments: Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are essential during Fruquintinib treatment to monitor your response to the medication, manage any side effects, and adjust the dosage if necessary.
  • Drug Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with Fruquintinib. Certain medications, such as those that affect liver function or blood clotting, may require dose adjustments or close monitoring when used concomitantly with Fruquintinib.
  • Avoid Grapefruit: Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Fruquintinib, potentially increasing the risk of side effects. It’s advisable to avoid consuming grapefruit or grapefruit products while taking Fruquintinib.
  • Patient Support Resources: Consider seeking support from patient advocacy groups, counseling services, or online communities for individuals undergoing cancer treatment. These resources can provide emotional support, practical advice, and valuable information about managing treatment-related challenges.

Always consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about the storage, disposal, administration, or potential emergencies related to Fruquintinib or any other medication.

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