CAPRELSA® (vandetanib) tablets

CAPRELSA® (vandetanib) tablets

CAPRELSA® (vandetanib) tablets

Vandetanib has the chemical name N-(4-bromo-2-fluorophenyl)-6-methoxy-7-[(1-methylpiperidin-4-yl) methoxy]quinazolin-4-amine.

Molecular formular is C22H24BrFN4O2. Vandetanib has a molecular weight of 475.36. Vandetanib exhibits pH-dependent solubility, with increased solubility at lower pH. Vandetanib is practically insoluble in water with a value of 0.008 mg/mL at 25°C (77°F).

CAPRELSA tablets for daily oral administration are available in two dosage strengths containing either 100 mg or 300 mg of vandetanib. The tablet cores contain the following inactive ingredients: calcium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, crospovidone, povidone, and magnesium stearate. The tablet film-coat contains the following inactive ingredients: hypromellose 2910, macrogol 300, and titanium dioxide E171.

Indications and usage

CAPRELSA is a kinase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of symptomatic or progressive medullary thyroid cancer in patients with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic disease.

Use CAPRELSA in patients with indolent, asymptomatic or slowly progressing disease only after careful consideration of the treatment related risks of CAPRELSA.

Mechanism of Action

In vitro studies have shown that vandetanib inhibits the tyrosine kinase activity of the EGFR and VEGFR families, RET, BRK, TIE2, and members of the EPH receptor and Src kinase families. These receptor tyrosine kinases are involved in both normal cellular function and pathologic processes such as oncogenesis, metastasis, tumor angiogenesis, and maintenance of the tumor microenvironment. In addition, the N-desmethyl metabolite of the drug, representing 7 to 17.1% of vandetanib exposure, has similar inhibitory activity to the parent compound for VEGF receptors (KDR and Flt-1) and EGFR.

In vitro, vandetanib inhibited epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated receptor tyrosine kinase phosphorylation in tumor cells and endothelial cells and VEGF-stimulated tyrosine kinase phosphorylation in endothelial cells.

In vivo, vandetanib administration reduced tumor cell-induced angiogenesis, tumor vessel permeability, and inhibited tumor growth and metastasis in mouse models of cancer.

Dosage and administration

  • 300 mg once daily.
  • CAPRELSA may be taken with or without food.
  • Dosage reduction may be necessary in the event of severe toxicities or QTc interval prolongation.
  • The starting dose is 200 mg in patients with moderate to severe renal impairment


Do not use in patients with congenital long QT syndrome

Adverse reactions

The most common adverse drug reactions (>20%) seen with CAPRELSA and with a between-arm difference of ≥5 % have been diarrhea/colitis, rash, acneiform dermatitis, hypertension, nausea, headache, upper respiratory tract infections, decreased appetite and abdominal pain.

Warnings and precautions

QT Prolongation and Torsades de Pointes: CAPRELSA can prolong the QT interval in a concentration-dependent manner. Torsades de pointes, ventricular tachycardia and sudden deaths have occurred in patients treated with CAPRELSA.

Do not start CAPRELSA treatment in patients whose QTcF interval is greater than 450 ms. Do not administer CAPRELSA to patients who have a history of Torsades de pointes, congenital long QT syndrome, bradyarrhythmias or uncompensated heart failure. CAPRELSA has not been studied in patients with ventricular arrhythmias or recent myocardial infarction. Vandetanib exposure is increased in patients with impaired renal function. Reduce the starting dose to 200 mg in patients with moderate to severe renal impairment and monitor QT interval frequently.

Severe Skin Reactions: Severe and sometimes fatal skin reactions, including toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome, have occurred in patients treated with CAPRELSA. Permanently discontinue CAPRELSA for severe skin reactions and refer the patient for urgent medical evaluation. Systemic therapies such as corticosteroids may be required.

Photosensitivity reactions can occur during CAPRELSA treatment and up to 4 months after treatment discontinuation.

Interstitial Lung Disease: Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) or pneumonitis, including fatalities, has occurred in patients treated with CAPRELSA. Consider a diagnosis of ILD in patients presenting with non-specific respiratory signs and symptoms. Interrupt CAPRELSA for acute or worsening pulmonary symptoms. Discontinue CAPRELSA if ILD is confirmed.

Ischemic Cerebrovascular Events: Ischemic cerebrovascular events, including fatalities, occurred in patients treated with CAPRELSA. In the randomized medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) study, ischemic cerebrovascular events occurred more frequently with CAPRELSA compared to placebo (1.3% compared to 0%). The safety of resumption of CAPRELSA therapy after resolution of an ischemic cerebrovascular event has not been studied. Discontinue CAPRELSA in patients who experience a severe ischemic cerebrovascular event.

Hemorrhage: Serious hemorrhagic events, including fatalities, occurred in patients treated with CAPRELSA. Do not administer CAPRELSA to patients with a recent history of hemoptysis of ≥1/2 teaspoon of red blood. Discontinue CAPRELSA in patients with severe hemorrhage.

Heart Failure: Heart failure, including fatalities, occurred in patients treated with CAPRELSA. Monitor for signs and symptoms of heart failure. Consider discontinuation of CAPRELSA in patients with heart failure. Heart failure may not be reversible upon stopping CAPRELSA.

Hypothyroidism: In the randomized MTC study in which 90% of the patients enrolled had prior thyroidectomy, increased dosing of thyroid replacement therapy was required in 49% of CAPRELSA-treated patients compared to 17% of placebo-treated patients. Obtain Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) at baseline, at 2-4 weeks and 8-12 weeks after starting treatment with CAPRELSA, and every 3 months thereafter. If signs or symptoms of hypothyroidism occur, examine thyroid hormone levels and adjust thyroid replacement therapy accordingly.

Hypertension: Hypertension, including hypertensive crisis, has occurred in patients treated with CAPRELSA. Monitor all patients for hypertension. Dose reduction or interruption for hypertension may be necessary. If hypertension cannot be controlled, do not resume CAPRELSA

Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome: Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS), a syndrome of subcortical vasogenic edema diagnosed by an MRI of the brain, has occurred in patients treated with CAPRELSA. Consider this syndrome in any patient presenting with seizures, headache, visual disturbances, confusion or altered mental function. In clinical studies, three of four patients who developed RPLS while taking CAPRELSA also had hypertension. Discontinue CAPRELSA treatment in patients with RPLS.

Drug interactions

Effect of CYP3A4 Inducers on CAPRELSA: Rifampicin, a strong CYP3A4 inducer, decreased vandetanib plasma concentrations. Avoid concomitant use of known strong CYP3A4 inducers during CAPRELSA therapy. Avoid concomitant use of St. John’s wort because it can decrease vandetanib exposure unpredictably.

Effect of CAPRELSA on OCT2 Transporter: CAPRELSA increased plasma concentrations of metformin that is transported by the organic cation transporter type 2 (OCT2). Use caution and closely monitor for toxicities when administering CAPRELSA with drugs that are transported by OCT2

Effect of CAPRELSA on Digoxin: CAPRELSA increased plasma concentrations of digoxin. Use caution and closely monitor for toxicities when administering CAPRELSA with digoxin

Drugs that Prolong the QT Interval: Avoid concomitant use of CAPRELSA with agents that may prolong the QT interval.

Use in specific populations

Pregnancy: Based on its mechanism of action, CAPRELSA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Vandetanib is embryotoxic, fetotoxic, and induced fetal malformations in rats at exposures less than or equal to those expected at the recommended human dose of 300 mg/day. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus.

Lactation: There are no data on the presence of vandetanib or its metabolites in human milk or the effects of vandetanib on the breastfed child or on milk production. Vandetanib was present in the milk of lactating rats. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions from CAPRELSA in breastfed children, advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with CAPRELSA and for 4 months after the final dose.

Pediatric Use: Safety and efficacy of CAPRELSA in pediatric patients have not been established.

Renal Impairment: Vandetanib exposure is increased in patients with impaired renal function. Reduce the starting dose to 200 mg in patients with moderate (creatinine clearance ≥30 to <50 mL/min) and severe (creatinine clearance <30 mL/min) renal impairment.

Hepatic Impairment: The pharmacokinetics of CAPRELSA were evaluated after a single dose of 800 mg in subjects with mild (n=8), moderate (n=7), and severe (n=6) hepatic impairment and normal hepatic function (n=5). Subjects with mild (Child-Pugh class A), moderate (Child-Pugh class B), and severe (Child-Pugh class C) hepatic impairment had comparable mean AUC and clearance values to those with normal hepatic function.

There are limited data in patients with liver impairment (serum bilirubin greater than 1.5 times the upper limit of normal). CAPRELSA is not recommended for use in patients with moderate and severe hepatic impairment, as safety and efficacy have not been established.


In the event of an overdose, monitor patients closely for QTc prolongation. Because of the 19-day half-life, adverse reactions may not resolve quickly.

Storage and Handling

CAPRELSA tablets should be stored at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C); excursions permitted to 59°F-86°F (15°C-30°C) [See USP controlled room temperature].

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