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Crizotinib Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 10, 2021.

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

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, crizotinib 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking crizotinib:

More common

  • Black, tarry stools
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blurred or loss of vision
  • body aches or pain
  • chest pain, discomfort, or tightness
  • chills
  • colicky or burning stomach pain
  • constipation
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficulty in swallowing
  • disturbed color perception
  • double vision
  • ear congestion
  • fever
  • halos around lights
  • headache
  • hoarseness
  • increased sensitivity to pain or touch
  • irregular heartbeat
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of voice
  • lower back or side pain
  • nerve pain
  • night blindness
  • overbright appearance of lights
  • pain in the back of throat or chest when swallowing
  • pain or burning in the throat
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • rapid weight gain
  • recurrent fainting
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • seeing flashes or sparks of light
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or tongue or inside the mouth
  • swelling
  • trouble breathing
  • tunnel vision
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • vomiting
  • vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet

Less common

  • Anxiety
  • blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • clay-colored stools
  • confusion
  • dark urine
  • dry mouth
  • fast heartbeat
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • itching, skin rash
  • loss of consciousness
  • nausea
  • stomach pain or tenderness
  • sweating
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • yellow eyes or skin

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of crizotinib 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:

More common

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • back pain
  • belching
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • change in taste
  • heartburn
  • increased weight
  • indigestion
  • loss of taste
  • muscle spasm or weakness
  • pain in the arms or legs
  • stomach discomfort or upset
  • trouble in walking
  • unsteadiness or awkwardness
  • weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to crizotinib: oral capsule


Very common (10% or more): Vision disorders (e.g., diplopia, photophobia, photopsia, reduced visual acuity, blurred vision, vitreous floaters, visual impairment) (71%), ocular hypotension (19%)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Severe vision loss[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Bradycardia (19%)

Common (1% to 10%): QT interval prolongation, cardiac failure (e.g., cardiac failure, cardiac failure congestive, ejection fraction decreased, left ventricular failure, pulmonary edema), syncope[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): ALT elevation (79%), AST elevation (66%), increased alkaline phosphatase (19%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hepatic failure, increased gamma-glutamyl transferase[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Neutropenia (22%), lymphopenia (18%), leukopenia (15%), anemia (15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Febrile neutropenia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Upper respiratory infection (e.g., nasopharyngitis, pharyngitis, rhinitis, upper respiratory tract infection) (32%)

Common (1% to 10%): Pulmonary embolism, interstitial lung disease[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (61%), nausea (57%), vomiting (46%), constipation (43%), abdominal pain (26%), dyspepsia (14%), dysphagia (10%)

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


Very common (10% or more): Rash (13%)[Ref]


The most common adverse reactions (25% or more) are vision disorders, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, edema, elevated transaminases, fatigue, decreased appetite, upper respiratory infection, dizziness, and neuropathy.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypophosphatemia (up to 32%), decreased appetite (27%), hypokalemia (18%), decreased weight (10%), hypernatremia (19%), hyponatremia (12%), hyperuricemia (12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Decreased blood testosterone (e.g., blood testosterone decreased, hypogonadism, secondary hypogonadism)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased weight[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Dysgeusia (26%), dizziness (e.g., balance disorder, dizziness, dizziness postural, presyncope) (26%), neuropathy (e.g., burning sensation, dysesthesia, formication, gait disturbance, hyperesthesia, hypoesthesia, hypotonia, motor dysfunction, muscle atrophy, muscular weakness, neuralgia, neuritis, neuropathy peripheral, neurotoxicity, paresthesia, peripheral motor neuropathy, peripheral sensorimotor neuropathy, peripheral sensory neuropathy, peroneal nerve palsy, polyneuropathy, sensory disturbance, skin burning sensation) (25%)[Ref]


swelling, localized edema, peripheral edema, periorbital edema (49%), fatigue (30%), pyrexia (19%)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Renal cyst (e.g., renal abscess, renal cyst, renal cyst hemorrhage, renal cyst infection), acute renal injury[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Pain in extremity (16%)

Common (1% to 10%): Muscle spasm, muscular weakness[Ref]

Frequently asked questions


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

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.