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Tips to Help Manage Certain Common Side Effects

These tips are based on published general guidelines and are not specific to treatment with BAVENCIO® (avelumab) and INLYTA® (axitinib). You can find a list of side effects, including serious side effects, in the Safety Information section of this website.

Not all side effects are manageable. If you’re having side effects, your doctor may decide to adjust or stop your treatment. That’s why it’s important to tell your healthcare provider about ANY side effects you are experiencing.

He or she may give you ways to help manage it and may adjust or stop your treatment if needed.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is defined as having loose or watery stools/bowel movements 3 or more times in 1 day. Call your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea.

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you:

  • Try yogurt-containing probiotics
  • Eat small, frequent meals and foods containing soluble fiber, which can be found in oatmeal, beans, and apples
  • Avoid spicy foods, fatty foods, caffeine, and raw fruit
  • Drink fluids, such as water, juice, or broth

Diarrhea can be the symptom of a more severe medical condition, so it’s important to call your healthcare provider right away. He or she may give you ways to help manage it and may adjust or stop your treatment if needed.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure

BAVENCIO with INLYTA may cause your blood pressure to rise. In an INLYTA clinical trial, hypertension occurred as early as 4 days into treatment. On average, this increase was seen within the first month of treatment.

Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions about having your blood pressure checked regularly. Call your healthcare provider if your blood pressure is high.

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you:

  • Get regular exercise
  • Keep your weight under control and lower the amount of sodium you eat in your food
  • Lower your alcohol intake

If you develop blood pressure problems, your healthcare provider may lower your dose, stop your treatment, or prescribe medicine to treat your high blood pressure. Tell your healthcare provider if you have high blood pressure or a history of heart disease.

Feeling tired

Feeling tired

While on treatment, you may feel tired. Call your healthcare provider for a full evaluation if you feel tired while on your treatment.

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you:

  • Take short naps and breaks instead of long ones
  • Eat well and drink plenty of fluids
  • Stay as active as possible
  • Try to maintain normal work and social schedules

Nausea

Nausea

It is best to call your healthcare provider at the first sign of nausea. Nausea is defined as feeling as if you are about to throw up. It is especially important to speak with your healthcare provider if these symptoms keep you from taking your treatment. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine for these symptoms.

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals
  • Avoid fatty, fried, spicy, or highly sweet foods
  • Eat bland foods at room temperature and drink clear liquids
  • If you vomit, start with small amounts of water, broth, or other clear liquids when you are ready to eat again. If that stays down, then try soft foods. Some examples include gelatin, pudding, yogurt, strained soup, or strained cooked cereal. Slowly work up to eating solid food. Make sure that you do not eat any food that you are allergic to

Mouth sores

Mouth sores

While on your treatment, you may develop mouth sores. If you develop mouth sores, tell your healthcare provider immediately. He or she may tell you to stop your treatment.

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you:

  • Eat foods that are soft, and avoid hot, spicy, or acidic foods
  • Use a straw for drinking liquids
  • Use an alcohol-free mouthwash, and rinse your mouth often with water mixed with baking soda or salt
  • Avoid toothpastes with whiteners (for example, peroxide) and use a soft toothbrush
  • Ask your healthcare provider if there are over-the-counter or prescription medicines that may help you manage your condition

Skin conditions

Skin conditions

Some patients may have blisters or a rash on the palms of their hands or soles of their feet. This is called hand-foot syndrome. Tell your healthcare provider if you start to develop skin problems. He or she may give you specific treatments, which may include lotions, moisturizers, or pain medicines.

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you:

  • Wear loose clothes and avoid tight-fitting shoes and jewelry that rub or chafe the hands and feet
  • Use sunscreen
  • Clean hands and feet with lukewarm water and gently pat dry
  • Apply creams containing urea to the hands and feet liberally and often

Hoarseness

Hoarseness

Hoarseness is when you have a weak, rough, or harsh voice.

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you:

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid irritants like dust, smoke, alcohol, or industrial chemicals
  • Write things down to give your voice a break
  • Remember to avoid shouting or whispering

Decreased appetite

Decreased appetite

While on treatment, you may have less desire to eat. But maintaining good nutrition and a healthy weight are important to your overall health. Protein and calories are vital to someone with cancer.

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you:

  • Eat when you are hungry and eat several small meals a day—5 or 6 isn’t out of the question
  • Enjoy snacks and try to make them nutritious. Find calories and protein in dried fruits, nuts, cheeses, and even milkshakes
  • Add gravy, butter, or cheese to your favorite foods for added protein and calories
  • Drink fluids between meals rather than filling up with them during meals
  • If the smell of a certain food is bothering you, it may help to eat it cold or at room temperature
  • If you’re having trouble tasting your favorite foods, try adding herbs or condiments

Let your healthcare provider know right away if you’re experiencing any side effect. He or she may give you ways to help manage it and may adjust or stop your treatment if needed.