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Sunitinib is used in the treatment of kidney cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumour.

How it works

In patients with cancer, a change in DNA (genetic material) triggers a signal which produces abnormal cancer cells. Sunitinib blocks this signal, and thus stops the production of these cancer cells.

Common side effects

Rash, Vomiting, Weakness, Discoloration of skin, Nausea, Edema, Abdominal pain, Loss of appetite, Dyspepsia, Fatigue, Fever, Dry skin, Bleeding, Diarrhoea, Increased blood pressure, Constipation, Hand-foot syndrome, Stomatitis (Inflammation of the mouth), Hair discolouration

Available Medicine

  • ₹16071 to ₹61596
    Pfizer Ltd
    3 variant(s)
  • ₹11913
    Natco Pharma Ltd
    1 variant(s)

Expert advice

  • Consult your doctor if you have any of the following medical conditions: high blood pressure, blood disease, bleeding problems, or bruising, heart problems, abnormal blood clots in your arteries or veins causing stroke, chest pain or pain/swelling in legs, hypothyroidism (under-functioning) of thyroid gland, pancreatic or gallbladder disorders, liver problems or jaundice, skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders including infectious/non-infectious skin rashes, diabetes or seizure disorder.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or are going to undergo a surgery, including dental surgery. 
  • Sunitinib can cause dizziness and unusual tiredness. Do not drive or operate machinery or engage in activities requiring mental alertness and coordination, until you feel fine.
  • Sunitinib may cause your skin to turn yellow and your hair to lighten and lose color. This is normal and not a cause for concern.
  • Your blood pressure should be checked regularly while you are taking sunitinib as it may cause high blood pressure.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions



Is sunitinib cytotoxic?
Yes, sunitinib is cytotoxic and hence used in the treatment of certain types of cancer. However, its cytotoxic property can cause several side effects. Patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use


How does sunitinib work?
Sunitinib inhibits the proteins that signal growth and spread of cancer cells. This result in stopping or slowing the spread of cancerous cells and helps shrink the tumors


What is sunitinib used for?
Sunitinib is used for the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST, tumor that occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, most commonly in the stomach or small intestine); metastatic renal cell carcinoma (MRCC, cancer that has spread beyond its site of origin in the kidney, to other organs in the body) and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNET, islet cell carcinoma)

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Does sunitinib cure cancer?
Sunitinib can decrease the size, and helps in controlling the growth of cancer cells. The response to sunitinib depends on the type and the extent of cancer, as well as the involvement of other organs by the primary cancer.

Content on this page was last updated on 05 April, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)