Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

At Exelixis, we remain committed to serving the needs of people who take COMETRIQ. We do not anticipate any impact to the availability of the medicine. All our financial and patient support services also remain fully operational. We are monitoring the situation so that we can continue to make the best decisions for the safety, health, and well-being of you as well as our employees.

You can get more information on our corporate website here.

Please click here to see Important Safety Information for COMETRIQ® and click here to see the full Prescribing Information.

what is
medullary thyroid cancer (MTC)?

  • The thyroid is a gland at the front of the neck, near the trachea (windpipe)
  • The thyroid makes hormones and releases these hormones into the blood
  • Two of these hormones, called T3 and T4, play an important role in regulating the way the body uses energy (metabolism)
  • Calcitonin, another hormone made by the thyroid, helps control calcium levels in the body

There are several types of thyroid cancer

  • Cancer can develop from different types of cells in the thyroid
  • In MTC, the cancer begins in a type of thyroid cell known as a C cell, which is responsible for producing calcitonin
    • Calcitonin levels produced by C cells are sometimes measured to help distinguish MTC from other kinds of thyroid cancer
  • MTC is not very common. It makes up about 1.7% of all thyroid cancer cases
  • Almost 900 people are diagnosed with MTC each year in the United States

What happens in MTC?

  • Abnormal C cells begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way and do not respond to the body’s usual signals to stop growing
  • A tumor forms as the cells continue to multiply
  • As the tumor grows, it may expand into nearby tissues, or some cells may spread (metastasize) to other distant parts of the body, including the lungs, liver, and bones. Sometimes no symptoms are noticed until a tumor has grown bigger or the cancer cells have spread

COMETRIQ® (Ko-me-trik) cabozantinib capsules

INDICATION AND IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

What are the possible side effects of COMETRIQ?

COMETRIQ may cause serious side effects, including:

  • A tear in your stomach or intestinal wall (perforation), or an abnormal connection between 2 parts of your body (fistula) that may lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get tenderness or pain in your stomach area (abdomen).
  • Bleeding (hemorrhage). COMETRIQ can cause severe bleeding that may lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get any signs of bleeding during treatment with COMETRIQ, including:
    • coughing up blood or blood clots
    • vomiting blood or if your vomit looks like coffee grounds
    • red or black (looks like tar) stools
    • menstrual bleeding that is heavier than normal
    • any unusual or heavy bleeding
  • Blood clots, stroke, heart attack, and chest pain. Get emergency help right away if you get:
    • swelling or pain in your arms or legs
    • shortness of breath
    • light-headed or faint
    • sweating more than usual
    • numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body
    • sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
    • sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
    • sudden trouble walking
    • dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
    • a sudden severe headache
  • Wound healing problems. Wound healing problems have happened in some people who take COMETRIQ. Tell your healthcare provider if you plan to have any surgery before or during treatment with COMETRIQ.
    • You should stop taking COMETRIQ at least 3 weeks before planned surgery.
    • Your healthcare provider should tell you when you may start taking COMETRIQ again after surgery.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is common with COMETRIQ and can be severe. Your healthcare provider will check your blood pressure before you start and during treatment with COMETRIQ. If needed, your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine to treat your high blood pressure.
  • Severe jaw bone problems (osteonecrosis). Symptoms may include jaw pain, toothache, or sores on your gums. Your healthcare provider should examine your mouth before you start and during treatment with COMETRIQ. Tell your dentist that you are taking COMETRIQ. It is important for you to practice good mouth care during treatment with COMETRIQ.
  • Diarrhea. Diarrhea is common with COMETRIQ and can be severe. If needed, your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine to treat your diarrhea. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have frequent loose, watery bowel movements.
  • A skin problem called hand-foot skin reaction. Hand-foot skin reactions are common with COMETRIQ and can be severe. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have rashes, redness, pain, swelling, or blisters on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet.
  • Protein in your urine and possible kidney problems. Symptoms may include swelling in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS). A condition called reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome can happen during treatment with COMETRIQ. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have headaches, seizures, confusion, changes in vision, or problems thinking.

Your healthcare provider may change your dose, temporarily stop, or permanently stop treatment with COMETRIQ if you have certain side effects.

The most common side effects of COMETRIQ are:

  • diarrhea
  • redness, swelling or pain in your mouth or throat, or mouth sores. Tell your healthcare provider if these symptoms prevent you from eating or drinking
  • weight loss
  • decreased appetite
  • nausea
  • tiredness
  • hair color turning lighter
  • change in taste
  • pain in your abdomen
  • constipation
  • increased liver function blood tests
  • decreased calcium and phosphate blood levels
  • decreased white blood cell counts
  • decreased platelet counts
  • increased bilirubin blood levels

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of COMETRIQ. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Before you take COMETRIQ, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have a recent history of coughing up blood or bleeding, or any unusual bleeding
  • have an open wound
  • have high blood pressure
  • plan to have any surgery, a dental procedure, or have had a recent surgery. You should stop taking COMETRIQ at least 3 weeks before planned surgery. See “What are the possible side effects of COMETRIQ?”
  • have liver problems
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. COMETRIQ can harm your unborn baby. If you are able to become pregnant, you should use effective birth control during treatment and for 4 months after the final dose of COMETRIQ. Talk to your healthcare provider about birth control methods that may be right for you. If you become pregnant or think you are pregnant, tell your healthcare provider right away.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if COMETRIQ passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment and for 4 months after the final dose of COMETRIQ.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. COMETRIQ and certain other medicines may affect each other, causing side effects.

What should I avoid while taking COMETRIQ?

Do not drink grapefruit juice, eat grapefruit, or take supplements that contain grapefruit during treatment with COMETRIQ.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is COMETRIQ?

COMETRIQ is a prescription medicine used to treat people with medullary thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

It is not known if COMETRIQ is safe and effective in children.

Please see the accompanying full Prescribing Information for COMETRIQ.

Back to top