Ceritinib (brand name- Zykadia) is an FDA-approved treatment for certain type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body.
Ceritinib is in a class of medications called kinase inhibitors. It works by blocking the action of an abnormal protein that signals cancer cells to multiply. This helps slow or stop the spread of cancer cells.
Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about ceritinib.
How should I take ceritinib or Zykadia?
Ceritinib comes as a capsule and a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with food once a day. Take ceritinib at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
Take ceritinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes. If you vomit after taking ceritinib, do not take another dose. Continue your regular dosing schedule.
Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment. Do not stop taking Capecitabine without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of Ceritinib or Zykadia?
Common side effects
- stomach pain
- difficulty swallowing
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- muscle pain
- bone, back arm, or leg pain
- yellowing of the skin and eyes
- flu-like symptoms
- decreased appetite
- fever, chills, sore throat, ongoing cough, congestion, or other signs of infection
Serious side effects
- changes in vision
- pain in the right upper part of the stomach
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- dark urine
- shortness of breath
- chest pain or discomfort
- changes in heartbeat
- heart palpitations
- ongoing pain that begins in the upper left or middle of the stomach but may spread to the back
Call your doctor if you have hyperglycemia associated symptoms – extreme thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, blurred vision, headache, trouble thinking or concentrating, breath smells like fruit, or tiredness.
Ceritinib 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).
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking ceritinib or Zykadia
- tell your doctor about your allergies
- tell your doctor about other intakes
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any disease, symptom, or treatment in the past or now
While you are on ceritinib or Zykadia
- you or your partner should not become pregnant while you are taking ceritinib. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. Ceritinib may harm your unborn baby.
- tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You should not breastfeed while taking ceritinib and for at least 2 weeks after your final dose.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking ceritinib.
- you should know that you may experience hyperglycemia (an increase in your blood sugar) while you are taking this medication. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of the associated symptoms mentioned above.
I forgot a dose. What should I do?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is within 12 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
How should I store and safely dispose of Ceritinib?
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 light, 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. http://www.upandaway.org
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. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you cannot access a take-back program.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this medication.
FDA updated – 05/15/2019, Last revised -06/08/2023, SG
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