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Generic Name: atezolizumab (A te zoe LIZ ue mab)
Brand Name: Tecentriq

Medically reviewed by on Apr 17, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is atezolizumab?

Atezolizumab is used to treat certain types of breast cancer, or bladder and urinary tract cancer. Atezolizumab is also used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. Atezolizumab is used when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic), or cannot be removed by surgery.

Your doctor may perform a biopsy to test your cancer for a protein called "PD-L1," or a specific genetic marker (an abnormal "EGFR" or "ALK" gene).

Atezolizumab is sometimes given after other cancer treatments did not work or have stopped working.

Atezolizumab may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Atezolizumab strengthens your immune system to help your body fight against tumor cells. This may cause the immune system to attack normal healthy tissues or organs. When this happens, you may develop serious or life-threatening medical problems.

Call your doctor at once if you have new or worsening symptoms such as: chest pain, cough, breathing problems, swelling, nausea, vomiting, changes in appetite or weight, diarrhea, stomach pain, vision problems, mood or behavior changes, increased thirst or urination, severe muscle weakness, numbness and tingling, or yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Before taking this medicine

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment.

Do not use atezolizumab if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using atezolizumab and for at least 5 months after your last dose.

This medicine may affect fertility (ability to have children) in women. However, it is important to use birth control to prevent pregnancy because atezolizumab can harm an unborn baby.

You should not breast-feed while using this medicine or within 5 months after your last dose.

How is atezolizumab given?

Atezolizumab is given as an infusion into a vein, usually once every 2 or 3 weeks. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

This medicine must be given slowly, and the infusion can take up to 60 minutes to complete.

You may be given other medications to help treat certain serious side effects. Keep using these medicines for as long as your doctor has prescribed.

Atezolizumab can increase your risk of infection by changing the way your immune system works. You will need frequent medical tests.

Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with this medicine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your atezolizumab injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving atezolizumab?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Atezolizumab side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Some side effects may occur during the injection. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, light-headed, chilled or feverish, itchy, tingly, or have neck or back pain, trouble breathing, or swelling in your face.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • new or worsening cough, shortness of breath;

  • chest pain, irregular heartbeats;

  • swelling in your ankles;

  • severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody or tarry stools;

  • liver problems--right-sided upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, drowsiness, easy bruising or bleeding, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • nervous system problems--neck stiffness, increased sensitivity to light, confusion, severe muscle weakness, numbness or tingling in your hands or feet, vision problems, eye pain or redness;

  • signs of infection--fever, flu symptoms, cough, back pain, painful or frequent urination; or

  • signs of a hormonal disorder--frequent or unusual headaches, dizziness or fainting, mood or behavior changes, hoarse or deepened voice, increased hunger or thirst, increased urination, constipation, hair loss, feeling cold, weight gain, or weight loss.

Your cancer treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, loss of appetite;

  • diarrhea, constipation;

  • fever, weakness, tiredness;

  • cough, feeling short of breath;

  • numbness or tingling in your hands or feet;

  • joint pain; or

  • high blood pressure.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect atezolizumab?

Other drugs may affect atezolizumab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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