Alectinib (Alecensa)

The Basics

Alectinib is an FDA-approved treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other body parts.

Alectinib is in a class of medications called kinase inhibitors. It helps to slow or stop the spread of cancer cells.

Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about alectinib.

How should I take Alectinib (Alecensa)?

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Alectinib comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken with food twice daily. Take alectinib at around the same time every day. Swallow the capsules whole; do not open or dissolve them. If you vomit after you take alectinib, do not immediately take another dose. Continue your regular dosing schedule.

Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take alectinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes.

Do not stop taking afatinib without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.

What are the side effects of Alectinib?

Common side effects

Serious side effects

  • Worsening or new instances of shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sudden chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Rash
  • Pain on the right side of your stomach
  • Change in the amount or colour of urine
  • New or worsening swelling in legs or feet
  • Abnormal bleeding or bruising

Alectinib may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication. If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Use the free Ankr platform or Ankr app to track your symptoms.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking alectinib or Alecensa

  • tell your doctor about your allergies
  • tell your doctor about other intakes
  • tell your doctor about any other disease or symptom in the past or now
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or if you plan to father a child.

while you are on alectinib or Alecensa

  • you should not become pregnant while you are taking alectinib. In case you or your partner becomes pregnant while taking alectinib call your doctor immediately. Alectinib may harm the fetus.
  • you should not breastfeed while taking alectinib and for 1 week after your last dose.
  • avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight (including sunlamps and tanning beds) and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Alectinib may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

I forgot a dose. What should I do?

Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

How should I safely store and dispose of Alectinib (Alecensa)?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.

You should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( for more information.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

Brand names

  • Alecensa®

Last Revised – 02/21/2023, FDA updated-11/06/2017, SG

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DISCLAIMER: No part of this content constitutes medical advice, opinion, or should be used for medical decision making without consultation with a licenced medical practitioner and under a patient-provider relationship. All information on the website is provided without any claims of accuracy. For full terms and conditions, visit this link. Content curated by the Ankr team.

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