Gastrointestinal tumor is an uncommon type of cancer that can develop in different parts of the digestive system, being more common in the stomach and intestine.
For your treatment, there are medications like Stivarga.
Learn more about the drug and its effects:
What is Stivarga?
Stivarga is the trade name of the active ingredient Regorafenib – enzyme inhibitor -, a new medication, for adult use, used to treat tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, hepatocellular carcinoma and colorectal cancer.
It is manufactured by Bayer – a chemical and pharmaceutical company – and is administered orally.
Each tablet of the drug has 40mg of the active ingredient, in addition to the excipients microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, povidone, silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate and pink lacquer.
What is it for?
Stivarga is a drug used to treat metastatic gastrointestinal tumors (when the tumor has spread to other parts of the body) or non-resectable (which cannot be completely removed).
It is indicated for those who have not been successful in previous treatments with drugs such as Imatinib or Sunitinib and also for those who previously received treatment based on Sorafenib.
Stivarga can also be used for hepatocellular carcinoma and colorectal cancer, the latter being people who have already been treated or are not considered for existing chemotherapies.
The drug works by reducing the action of enzymes that contribute to the growth and spread of cancer cells. It also provides an interruption of the blood supply that supports the growth of these cells.
How to use Stivarga?
According to the package leaflet, the recommended daily dose is the oral intake of 4 tablets (40mg each) of the drug once a day, for 3 weeks.
The cycle of use of the medicine lasts for 4 weeks. It must be used for 3 weeks in a row, and in the last one, there is no use.
The tablets should be taken whole with water, at the same time each day. Intake after light meals, which contain low fat, is indicated.
Despite the recommendations, it is important to follow the prescriptions of the professional, who may change the amounts indicated according to the clinical picture.
What are the side effects of the medicine Stivarga?
Like other medicines, Stivarga can cause some side effects.
Common and very common reactions include:
- Change in appetite;
- Increased pressure;
- Redness and swelling in the hands and feet;
- Reduction of platelets in the blood;
- Inflammation of the mucous membranes;
- Skin wounds;
- Weight loss.
However, unusual reactions, however, that may occur, are:
- Allergic reaction;
- Heart attack;
- Severe increase in pressure;
- Inflammation in the pancreas;
- Serious stomach problems;
- Severe liver damage;
- Nail changes.
It is worth remembering that each organism reacts differently to the medication. Thus, not necessarily all patients will have the effects listed.
What is hand-foot reaction?
The hand-foot reaction is one of the side effects that can be caused by the use of Stivarga and makes up a set of dermatological symptoms that are quite common.
It mainly affects the hands and feet, but it can occur in other parts of the body.
Its main symptoms are redness of the skin, pain, swelling, dryness and even the formation of blisters in the affected areas.
One of the ways to prevent the appearance is by following some tips, such as:
- Keep the skin hydrated;
- Use urea-based moisturizing creams;
- Avoid carrying out activities that cause friction in the affected area;
- Use water with warm to cold temperature during the bath;
- Dry the skin well after contact with water;
- Avoid contact with cleaning products.
These actions can help to minimize the incidence of the reaction.
Price: where to buy Stivarga cheaper?
The Stivarga is a high cost of medicine. Its values vary, on average, between R $ 14,100 and R $ 19,630 * and it can be found in physical pharmacies and online.
On the website of Consulta Remédios it is possible to make a price comparison, looking for the most advantageous in a quick and simplified way.
* Price consulted in December 2019. Prices may change.
Does SUS provide Stivarga?
No . Stivarga is not part of the list of drugs distributed free of charge by SUS.
However, patients with a medical prescription to use the medication, but are unable to afford treatment costs, can request free access to the drug in court.
For that, it is necessary to open a judicial process with information such as medical report, exams, application and budget in three different pharmacies.
For the realization of the quotation, it is possible to obtain assistance in advising on the quotation of high-cost drugs , which makes a personalized quote simply and quickly.
Is Stivarga part of the ANS role?
No . The ANS list is the list of minimum procedures (exams, surgeries, consultations) that health plans are required to cover.
Although treatment for gastrointestinal cancer with the medication Stivarga is not on that list, it is possible to file a lawsuit against the health plan. The process will be analyzed considering the directions for use of the package insert and the diagnosis of each patient.
Is Stivarga registered with ANVISA? What laboratory?
-Yeah . The drug was approved and registered with the National Health Surveillance Agency in 2015. The laboratory responsible for the manufacture of Stivarga is Bayer, a chemical and pharmaceutical company.
All information can be found on the agency’s website.
Gastrointestinal cancer is a rare and little-known disease.
Although it is not a popular cancer, there are already drugs for its treatment. Since 2015, Anvisa has approved the use of the drug Stivarga as a therapeutic resource.
The Healthy Minute has other content about medicines and treatments. Read and stay informed!