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Crizotinib Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of crizotinib include: increased serum alanine aminotransferase. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to crizotinib: oral capsule

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by crizotinib. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking crizotinib:

More common:
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • body aches or pain
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • cough or hoarseness
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • ear congestion
  • fever or chills
  • headache
  • increased sensitivity to pain or touch
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • loss of voice
  • lower back or side pain
  • nerve pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • rapid weight gain
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • tightness in the chest
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unsteadiness or awkwardness
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • Bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with crizotinib may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Abdominal or stomach discomfort, pain, or tenderness
  • acid or sour stomach
  • back pain
  • belching
  • change in taste
  • decrease or change in vision
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • difficulty with moving
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • heartburn
  • increased sensitivity of the eyes to sunlight
  • indigestion
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • nausea
  • pain in the joints
  • pain or burning in the throat
  • pain or discomfort in the chest, upper stomach, or throat
  • problems with balance
  • rash
  • redness, swelling, or soreness of the tongue
  • scaling, redness, burning, pain, chapping, swelling, or other signs of inflammation of the lips
  • seeing flashes or sparks of light
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • trouble sleeping

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to crizotinib: oral capsule


Common (1% to 10%): Electrocardiogram QT prolonged, bradycardia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): ALT elevation (up to 76%), AST elevation (up to 61%)
Common (1% to 10%): Increased alkaline phosphatase, hepatic failure[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Lymphopenia (up to 51%), neutropenia (up to 49%), anemia (up to 17%)
Common (1% to 10%): Leukopenia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Upper respiratory infection (up to 26%)
Common (1% to 10%): Pulmonary embolism, interstitial lung disease[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (up to 60%), nausea (up to 55%), vomiting (up to 47%), constipation (up to 42%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dyspepsia, gastrointestinal perforation[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Vision disorders (up to 60%)[Ref]

Vision disorders included diplopia, photophobia, photopsia, blurred vision, reduced vision acuity, visual impairment, and vitreous floaters.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rash[Ref]


The most common adverse reactions (25% or more) are vision disorder, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, edema, elevated transaminases, and fatigue.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypophosphatemia (up to 28%), decreased appetite (up to 27%), hypokalemia (up to 18%), decreased weight (up to 10%)[Ref]

Nervous system

Neuropathy included dysesthesia, gait disturbance, hypoesthesia, muscular weakness, neuralgia, peripheral neuropathy, paresthesia, peripheral sensory neuropathy, polyneuropathy, and skin burning sensation.[Ref]

Very common (10% or more): Dysgeusia (up to 26%), dizziness (up to 22%), neuropathy (up to 19%)
Common (1% to 10%): Syncope[Ref]


Edema included face edema, generalized edema, local swelling, localized edema, peripheral edema, and periorbital edema.[Ref]

Very common (10% or more): Edema (up to 39%), fatigue (up to 27%)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Renal cyst[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. "Product Information. Xalkori (crizotinib)." Pfizer U.S. Pharmaceuticals Group, New York, NY.

Not all side effects for crizotinib may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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