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What is sorafenib?

Sorafenib (also called Nexavar®) is an anti-cancer medicine. Sorafenib is taken by mouth. It is available commercially as a 200-mg tablet. It is available from a special compounding pharmacy as capsules of 10-mg, 20-mg, 50-mg, and 100-mg only for select study protocols (treatment plans).

How to take sorafenib

  • Sorafenib may be taken with or without food. If taken with food, sorafenib should be taken with a low to moderate fat meal.
  • You must drink plenty of fluids while taking sorafenib.
  • If you have problems taking this medicine on an empty stomach, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Read the directions on the bottle carefully to make sure you take this medicine correctly.
  • If unable to swallow the study capsules, the capsules can be opened and sprinkled on a small amount of low fat food.

Possible side effects of sorafenib

  • Swelling, pain, or rash on hands or feet
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure, especially in the first 6 weeks of treatment
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Numbness or tingling of hands or feet
  • Delayed wound healing/withhold sorafenib for surgical procedures

There may be more side effects, such as hair loss, mouth sores, temporary changes in liver function, and gastrointestinal (digestive tract) bleeding. Please report all side effects right away to your doctor or nurse.

In case of severe side effect or reaction, call the doctor, nurse or pharmacist at 595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 once the call is connected.

Special instructions for sorafenib

  • Because sorafenib may cause birth defects, do not take this medicine if you are pregnant. Both men and women who are taking sorafenib should use effective birth control methods. 
  • It is not known whether sorafenib passes into breast milk. Because this medicine might cause serious harm to a nursing infant, women who are taking sorafinib should not breast-feed.
  • Sorafinib tablets and capsules should be stored at room temperature.
  • Keep this and all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Other medicine may affect the way sorafenib works, including phenytoin, cabamazepine, phenobarbital, rifampin, and dexamethasone. Always give a complete list of medicines you are taking to your doctor or pharmacist. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new vitamins, herbals, or other medicine.

Safe handling of sorafenib

All chemotherapy drugs taken by mouth can pose a health hazard to caregivers and patients. You should be careful when handling this medicine and try to keep the drug from touching the skin. Taking precautions will ensure that both the patient and the caregiver are protected as well as possible.

  • Prepare a clean area where the drug can be handled safely (away from areas where food is prepared, out of the reach of children, and out from under any air vents or fans).
  • We suggest you or the caregiver wear gloves while handling this medicine. Wash your hands right away if your skin comes in contact with the medicine.
  • Carefully wash tablet cutters with warm soapy water after each use and allow to dry. Completely clean up any spills in the area where the medicine is prepared.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).