Generic Name: crizotinib (kriz OH ti nib)
Brand Name: Xalkori
Medically reviewed on March 31, 2017
What is crizotinib?
Crizotinib is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Crizotinib is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
Crizotinib may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Crizotinib can cause serious heart or liver problems. Call your doctor at once if you have: headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fast or pounding heartbeats, upper stomach pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Before taking this medicine
You should not use crizotinib if you are allergic to it.
To make sure crizotinib is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
liver or kidney disease;
a heart rhythm disorder;
an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood);
a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome; or
if you take any heart or blood pressure medicines.
Crizotinib can harm an unborn baby. Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking crizotinib, whether you are a man or a woman. Crizotinib use by either parent may cause birth defects.
If you are a woman, do not take crizotinib if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking crizotinib and for at least 45 days after your last dose.
If you are a man, use effective birth control if your sexual partner is able to get pregnant. An unborn baby can be harmed if a man fathers the child while he is taking crizotinib. Keep using birth control for at least 3 months after your last dose.
Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is taking crizotinib.
It is not known whether crizotinib passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using crizotinib.
How should I take crizotinib?
Before you start treatment, your doctor may perform tests to make sure crizotinib is the best treatment for your type of lung cancer.
Crizotinib is usually taken twice per day. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
You may take crizotinib with or without food.
Do not crush, chew, dissolve, or open a crizotinib capsule. Swallow it whole.
While using crizotinib, your heart rate and blood pressure will need to be checked often. You will also need frequent blood tests to check your liver function. Your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
You should not stop taking crizotinib without your doctor's advice.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if your next dose is less than 6 hours away. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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 taking crizotinib?
crizotinib may cause blurred vision and may impair your reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be able to see clearly.
This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Crizotinib side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe vision problems, including loss of vision;
headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;
very slow heart rate;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or cough with mucus, feeling short of breath;
fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, cold or flu symptoms;
easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums); or
liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite;
abnormal liver function tests;
swelling in your hands or feet;
tired feeling; or
vision problems such as blurred vision, increased sensitivity of your eyes to light, or seeing flashes of light or "floaters."
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Crizotinib dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer:
250 mg orally twice a day
Use: Metastatic non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors are anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive
What other drugs will affect crizotinib?
Other drugs may interact with crizotinib, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.09.
More about crizotinib
- Crizotinib Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
- 4 Reviews
- Drug class: multikinase inhibitors
Other brands: Xalkori