Cabometyx (cabozantinib) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat certain types of cancer. Cabometyx can cause side effects that range from mild to serious. Examples include nausea, diarrhea, and low appetite.

Specifically, Cabometyx is used in adults to treat:

Cabometyx is also used in adults and children ages 12 years and older to treat differentiated thyroid cancer. Typically, the cancer has spread from the thyroid to either close or distant areas of the body. Also, the cancer has progressed despite receiving previous cancer treatments.

The active ingredient in Cabometyx is cabozantinib. The drug comes as an oral tablet.

Keep reading to learn about the common, mild, and serious side effects that Cabometyx can cause. For a general overview of the drug, including details about its uses, see this article.

* Advanced stages of renal cell cancer occur when the cancer has spread from the kidneys to other areas of the body.

Some people may experience mild to serious side effects during their Cabometyx treatment. Examples of the drug’s commonly reported side effects include:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • fatigue (low energy)
  • low appetite
  • high blood pressure

Mild side effects have been reported with Cabometyx. These include:

  • cough
  • hoarse voice
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • nausea and vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • fatigue
  • low appetite
  • weight loss
  • changes in taste

In most cases, these side effects should be temporary. And some may be easily managed. But if you have symptoms that are ongoing or bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And do not stop taking Cabometyx unless your doctor recommends it.

Cabometyx may cause mild side effects other than those listed above. See the drug’s prescribing information for details.

Serious side effects have been reported with Cabometyx. These include:

If you develop serious side effects while taking Cabometyx, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Cabometyx, visit MedWatch.

Allergic reaction

For some people, Cabometyx can cause an allergic reaction.

But it’s not clear whether this side effect occurred in the drug’s studies.

In general, symptoms of allergic reaction can be mild or serious. You can learn more about possible symptoms in this article.

What might help

If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest a treatment to manage your symptoms and can determine whether you should keep taking Cabometyx.

If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to Cabometyx, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Learn more about some of the side effects Cabometyx may cause.

Hand-foot syndrome

Hand-foot syndrome was a side effect commonly reported in studies of Cabometyx. It may be serious. Hand-foot syndrome may cause symptoms on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet including:

  • numbness
  • tingling
  • burning
  • blisters

What might help

Talk with your doctor right away if you develop any of the above symptoms. They may pause your treatment with Cabometyx until your symptoms resolve. Also, your doctor will likely reduce your dose in the future to help prevent these symptoms from returning.

Thyroid problems

Thyroid problems, specifically hypothyroidism, was a side effect commonly reported in studies of Cabometyx. In rare cases, it may be serious. Hypothyroidism may cause symptoms such as:

  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • joint and muscle pain

What might help

Before you start Cabometyx, talk with your doctor about all your medical conditions. They may also check your thyroid function before starting Cabometyx.

Your doctor will continue to monitor you for thyroid problems throughout your treatment. If you develop hypothyroidism, they’ll likely give you treatment for this condition. If you have serious thyroid problems, your doctor may have you stop Cabometyx treatment.

Talk with your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.

Keeping track of side effects

During your Cabometyx treatment, consider taking notes on any side effects you’re having. You can then share this information with your doctor. This is especially helpful when you first start taking a new drug or using a combination of treatments.

Your side effect notes can include things such as:

  • what dose of the drug you were taking when you had the side effect
  • how soon you had the side effect after starting that dose
  • what your symptoms were
  • how your symptoms affected your daily activities
  • what other medications you were taking
  • any other information you feel is important

Keeping notes and sharing them with your doctor will help them learn more about how Cabometyx affects you. They can then use this information to adjust your treatment plan if needed.

Below is important information you should consider before taking Cabometyx.


Cabometyx can sometimes cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Cabometyx is a good treatment option for you.

Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Cabometyx. Be sure to tell them if any of the following factors apply to you:

  • liver problems
  • severe bleeding
  • open or healing wound
  • high blood pressure
  • low blood calcium levels
  • recent or future surgeries, including dental procedures
  • previous allergic reaction to Cabometyx
  • pregnancy
  • breastfeeding
  • alcohol consumption

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.