Generic Name: crizotinib (kriz OH ti nib)
Brand Names: Xalkori
Medically reviewed on March 31, 2017.
What is Xalkori?
Xalkori (crizotinib) is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Xalkori is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. that has spread to other parts of the body.
Xalkori may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Xalkori 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).
Do not use Xalkori if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control while you are using this medicine and for at least 3 months after your treatment ends, whether you are a man or a woman.
Before you take Xalkori, 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), or a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Xalkori if you are allergic to crizotinib.
To make sure Xalkori 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.
Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking Xalkori, 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 Xalkori if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking this medicine 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 Xalkori. 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 Xalkori.
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 Xalkori.
How should I take Xalkori?
Take Xalkori exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Before you start treatment, your doctor may perform tests to make sure crizotinib is the best treatment for your type of lung cancer.
Xalkori 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 Xalkori with or without food.
Do not crush, chew, dissolve, or open a capsule. Swallow it whole.
While using Xalkori, 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 Xalkori without your doctor's advice.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Xalkori 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
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
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 Xalkori?
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with crizotinib and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products while taking Xalkori.
This medicine 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.
Crizotinib 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 ands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Xalkori side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Xalkori: 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 Xalkori 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)
What other drugs will affect Xalkori?
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 Xalkori 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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More about Xalkori (crizotinib)
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- Drug class: multikinase inhibitors