Generic Name: atezolizumab (a-te-zoe-LIZ-ue-mab) (Intravenous route)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on July 16, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Monoclonal Antibody
Uses for Tecentriq
Atezolizumab injection is used to treat urothelial carcinoma (a type of bladder cancer) that has spread throughout the body (metastatic) or cannot be removed by surgery (advanced). This medicine is given to patients who have received other cancer medicines (eg, platinum) that did not work well, or in patients who cannot receive cancer medicines containing cisplatin and whose cancer has high levels of a specific protein called programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), or in patients with or without PD-L1- expressing cancers who cannot receive cancer medicines containing platinum.
Atezolizumab injection is also used as first-line treatment for metastatic (cancer that has already spread) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients whose tumors express high PD-L1 and do not have an abnormal EGFR or ALK gene. Your doctor will perform a test to check for the PD-L1 tumor before you receive this medicine. It is used together with other cancer medicines (eg, bevacizumab, paclitaxel, and carboplatin combination, or paclitaxel protein-bound and carboplatin combination) as first-line treatment to metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer in patients whose tumor does not have an abnormal EGFR or ALK gene. It is also used to treat metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with or without an EGFR or ALK gene in patients who have tried treatment for EGFR or ALK tumors and received cancer medicines containing platinum that did not work well.
Atezolizumab injection is also used together with other cancer medicines (eg, paclitaxel protein-bound) to treat patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) that has spread or cannot be removed by surgery and whose tumors express PD-L1.
Atezolizumab injection is also used together with carboplatin and etoposide as first-line treatment for extensive-stage (cancer that has spread) small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC).
Atezolizumab injection is also used together with bevacizumab to treat a type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) that has spread throughout the body (metastatic) or cannot be removed by surgery (unresectable) in patients who have not received other cancer medicines by mouth or injection.
Atezolizumab injection is also used together with cobimetinib and vemurafenib to treat melanoma (a type of skin cancer) that has spread or cannot be removed by surgery. It is used in patients whose skin cancer have the abnormal gene. Your doctor will perform a test to check for this gene before you receive this medicine.
This medicine is to be given only by or under the supervision of your doctor.
Before using Tecentriq
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of atezolizumab injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of atezolizumab injection in the elderly.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Diabetes or
- Immune system problems (eg, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, lupus) or
- Infection or
- Liver problems or
- Lung or breathing problems or
- Nervous system problems (eg, Guillain-Barré syndrome, myasthenia gravis) or
- Organ transplant, recent or
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or
- Thyroid problems—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Liver disease, severe—Use has not been studied in patients with these conditions.
Proper use of Tecentriq
Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a medical facility. It is given through a needle placed into one of your veins. It must be given slowly, so the needle will have to remain in place for at least 30 to 60 minutes every 2, 3, or 4 weeks. Your doctor will decide how many treatments you will need.
This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
Precautions while using Tecentriq
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Receiving this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. If you are female and able to get pregnant, your doctor may give you a pregnancy test before you start using this medicine to make sure you are not pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment with this medicine and for at least 5 months after the last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while receiving the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Tell your doctor right away if you have a cough, chest tightness, or any type of breathing problem with this medicine. These could be symptoms of a serious lung problem (eg, pneumonitis, interstitial lung disease).
Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, a loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
Colitis (inflammation of the bowels) may occur with this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or tenderness, watery or bloody diarrhea, or fever after receiving the medicine.
Adrenal, pituitary, or thyroid gland problems may occur while you are receiving this medicine. Tell your doctor if you have changes in mood or behavior, constipation, dry skin or hair, feeling cold, sensitivity to heat, sweating, trouble sleeping, or weight changes.
This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. Check with your doctor if you notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests or if you have any questions.
Check with your doctor if you have a headache, confusion, seizures, stiff neck, or vomiting while receiving this medicine. These may be symptoms of encephalitis.
Check with your doctor right away if you have a severe headache, drowsiness, confusion, general feeling of illness, or stiff neck or back while receiving this medicine. These may be symptoms of meningitis.
This medicine may cause inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium) called myocarditis. Check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain or discomfort, fever, chills, a fast heartbeat, or trouble breathing.
Call your doctor right away if you have difficulty with breathing, swallowing, or talking, muscle weakness, severe tiredness, or sudden numbness and weakness in the arms or legs. These could be symptoms of a nervous system problem.
Tell your doctor right away if you have blurred vision, eye pain or redness, or other vision problems while you are receiving this medicine.
Pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas) may occur while you are receiving this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you have sudden and severe stomach pain, chills, constipation, nausea, vomiting, fever, or lightheadedness.
Call your doctor right away if you start to have a cough that would not go away, weight loss, night sweats, fever, chills, painful or difficult urination, or flu-like symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose, headache, blurred vision, or feeling generally ill. These may be signs that you have an infection.
This medicine may cause a rare but serious type of allergic reaction called an infusion reaction, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you start to have a skin rash, dizziness, trouble breathing, chest tightness, swelling in your face or hands, fever, or chills while you are receiving this medicine.
Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or a skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills after receiving this medicine.
Talk with your doctor before receiving this medicine if you plan to have children. Some women who receive this medicine have become infertile (unable to have children).
Tecentriq side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Black, tarry stools
- bladder pain
- bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- bloody or cloudy urine
- blurred vision
- body aches or pain
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- difficulty in breathing
- ear congestion
- frequent urge to urinate
- general feeling of tiredness and weakness
- loss of appetite
- loss of voice
- lower back or side pain
- muscle aches
- pale skin
- pounding in the ears
- rapid weight gain
- slow or fast heartbeat
- sore throat
- stomach cramps
- stuffy or runny nose
- tightness in the chest
- tingling of the hands or feet
- trouble breathing with exertion
- ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight gain or loss
- watery or bloody diarrhea
- burning, tingling, numbness or pain in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
- chest pain
- dark urine
- decreased urine
- depressed mood
- difficulty with chewing, swallowing, or talking
- double vision
- drooping eyelids
- dry skin and hair
- facial swelling
- feeling cold
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- inability to move the arms and legs
- light-colored stools
- muscle cramp, stiffness, or weakness
- numbness in the hands, feet, or lips
- rapid, shallow breathing
- sensation of pins and needles
- sensitivity to heat
- skin rash
- stabbing pain
- stiff neck or back
- sudden numbness and weakness in the arms and legs
- thickening of bronchial secretions
- trouble sleeping
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- upper right abdominal or stomach pain
- yellow eyes and skin
- Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
- darkening of the skin
- hives, itching
- joint or muscle pain
- joint stiffness or swelling
- pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
- red skin lesions, often with a purple center
- red, irritated eyes
- redness of the skin
- swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
Incidence not known
- Flushed, dry skin
- fruit-like breath odor
- increased hunger
- increased urination
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Back, neck, arm, or leg pain
- difficulty in moving
- loss of or change in taste
- thinning of the hair or hair loss
- unsteadiness or awkwardness
- weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Frequently asked questions
- What is the cost of Tecentriq?
- How effective is it?
- Is this a chemotherapy or immunotherapy drug?
- Does it cause hair loss?
- How is it administered?
- What type of cancer is Tecentriq used to treat?
More about Tecentriq (atezolizumab)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 1 Review
- Drug class: anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies
- FDA Alerts (2)
- FDA Approval History
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