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Crizotinib

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Xalkori® Cancer-related

Crizotinib - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Crizotinib cause?

  • Nausea and vomiting, decreased appetite
    • Take small, frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Diarrhea or constipation
    • To manage diarrhea:
      • Drink plenty of clear fluids to replace those lost (2 litres everyday).
      • Avoid oily, spicy food or milk and dairy products.
    • To manage constipation:
      • Drink more water or clear fluids (unless you have a limit on the amount of fluids you can take each day).
      • Add more fibre to your diet by eating more fruits and vegetables.
  • Feeling tired and lack of energy
    • Do not drive or operate machinery when you feel tired.
  • Swelling of the hands or feet
    • You can elevate your feet when you are seated or lying down.
  • Numbness or tingling feeling in the hands or feet
  • Eyesight problems e.g. flashes of light, blurred or double vision, light sensitivity, floaters
    • Be careful when driving or operating machinery.
  • Decreased white blood cells
    • This may put you at higher risk of having infections.
      • Avoid crowds and people who are sick. Wear a face mask when you are going out.
      • Wash your hands with soap frequently especially after using the toilet and before handling food.

 If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

  • Signs of infection - fever of 38°C and above, chills, cough, sore throat, pain or burning feeling on passing urine
  • Sudden onset or worsening of cough, chest pain or shortness of breath, with fever
  • Dark urine or light coloured stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellowing of your eyes or skin
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, black sticky stools or blood in urine
  • Rapid or abnormal irregular heartbeat
  • Unusual onset of weakness, tiredness or light-headedness
  • Any loss of eyesight 
  • Symptoms of a drug allergy including one or more of the following:
    • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
    • Difficulty in breathing
    • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Before taking Crizotinib , what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication.
  • You are or your partner is pregnant or planning for pregnancy. You should use effective birth control during and for at least:
    • 90 days after stopping treatment (for men)
    • 45 days after stopping treatment (for women)
  • You are breastfeeding.
    • Do not breastfeed during and for at least 45 days after stopping treatment.
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.
  • You have any other medical conditions (e.g. heart, eye, liver or kidney problems).

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Crizotinib ?

Avoid taking grapefruit and its juice when you are taking this medication as it may interact with your medication and increase the risk of side-effects.

Crizotinib - Additional Information

  • Updated on Monday, November 30, 2020
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

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