Thyroid cancer drug, Caprelsa (vandetanib), manufactured by AstraZeneca Canada Inc., has been linked to serious abnormal heart rhythm, Health Canada just announced
AstraZeneca Canada and Health Canada have advised Canadian healthcare providers about the safety of Caprelsa, which was recently approved by Health Canada.
Caprelsa was approved to treat medullary thyroid cancer in adult patients where either the tumor cannot be removed surgically or the cancer has spread from the thyroid gland to other parts of the body.
Caprelsa, which is only available through a Restricted Distribution Program, can cause serious heart rhythm changes, which may result in sudden death if left untreated.
In addition to abnormal heart rhythm, patients have also reported rash and other skin reactions, diarrhea, increased blood pressure, and vision abnormalities. Adverse reactions in patients taking Caprelsa should be reported to AstraZeneca Canada or Health Canada.
Caprelsa can only be prescribed by a doctor who has completed certification to participate in the Caprelsa Restricted Distribution Program and who is experienced in the use of anti-cancer drugs. To be able to receive Caprelsa, patients must be enrolled in the program by their certified doctor.