Crizotinib (brand name – Xalkori)is an FDA-approved treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to nearby tissues or other parts of the body. It is also used to treat a certain type of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) that has returned or is unresponsive to other treatment(s) in adults and children one year of age and older.
Crizotinib is in a class of medications called kinase inhibitors. It works by blocking the action of a certain naturally occurring substance that may be needed to help cancer cells multiply.
Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about crizotinib.
How should I take Crizotinib (Xalkori)?
Crizotinib comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food twice a day. Take crizotinib 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 crizotinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes.Swallow the capsules whole; do not split, chew, or crush them. Do not touch capsules that are broken or crushed.
Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment. Do not stop taking crizotinib without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of Crizotinib (Xalkori)?
Common side effects
- stomach pain
- sores in the mouth
- change in ability to taste food
- numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- excessive tiredness
- difficulty swallowing
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
Crizotinib 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 crizotinib or Xalkori
- tell your doctor about your allergies
- tell your doctor about other intakes
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any other disease or symptom
While you are on crizotinib or Xalkori
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your doctor about which method of birth control you should use. If you become pregnant while taking crizotinib, call your doctor immediately. Crizotinib may harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed during your treatment and for 45 days after your final dose.
- if you have dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist you are taking crizotinib.
- you should know that crizotinib may cause vision problems, dizziness, and excessive tiredness. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
I forgot a dose. what should I do?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is less than 6 hours before you are scheduled to take 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.
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 https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. 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 Crizotinib?
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 – one 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 do not have access to a take-back program.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this medication.
Last Revised 06/08/2023, FDA updated- 04/15/2021, SG
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