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What is Sorafenib (Nexavar)

Find out what sorafenib is, how you have it and other important information about having sorafenib.

Sorafenib is a cancer treatment and is also known by its brand name, Nexavar.

It is a treatment for:

  • kidney cancer that has spread
  • a type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma
  • some types of thyroid cancer when radioactive iodine treatment has not worked

How it works

Sorafenib is a type of biological therapy called a protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). Tyrosine kinase is a protein which acts as a chemical messenger (an enzyme). There are a number of different tyrosine kinases that encourage cancer cells to grow.

Sorafenib blocks some of the protein kinases and is called a multi kinase inhibitor. It works in two ways. It stops signals that tell cancer cells to grow. It also stops cancer cells forming new blood vessels, which they need to grow. Treatment that stops blood vessels forming is called anti-angiogenesis treatment.


Sorafenib is used to treat kidney, liver, and thyroid cancer. It is a chemotherapy drug that works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

How to use Sorafenib Tablet

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking sorafenib and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • bleeding gums
  • bloating of the abdomen or stomach
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • blurred vision
  • clay-colored stools
  • coughing up blood

medicines, foods and drink

Cancer drugs can interact with some other medicines and herbal products. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter remedies.

Pregnancy and contraception

This treatment might harm a baby developing in the womb. It is important not to become pregnant or father a child while you are having treatment with this drug. Talk to your doctor or nurse about effective contraception before starting treatment.