What is this medication?
ALECTINIB (al EK ti nib) is a medicine that targets proteins in cancer cells and stops the cancer cells from growing. It is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Alecensa
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- heart disease
- history of irregular heartbeat
- liver disease
- lung or breathing disease, like asthma
- muscle aches or weakness
- an unusual or allergic reaction to alectinib, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. Take this medicine with food. If you vomit after taking your medicine, take your next dose at the regular time and do not take an extra dose. Take the doses about 12 hours apart. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose or if you vomit after taking your medicine, do not take another dose. Take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Interactions are not expected.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Tell your doctor or health care professional right away if you have any change in your eyesight.
You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen and lip balm with a SPF 50 or greater during treatment and for at least 7 days after the last dose. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine or for 1 week after the last dose. Men should use effective contraception during treatment and for 3 months after the last dose. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine or for 1 week after the last dose.
Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.
Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.
This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions (skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue)
- feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- kidney injury (trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine)
- liver injury (dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; loss of appetite, right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired, yellowing of the eyes or skin)
- muscle injury (dark urine; trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine; unusually weak or tired; muscle pain; back pain)
- trouble breathing
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- swelling of the ankles, feet, hands
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Do not store above 30 degrees C (86 degrees F). Keep this medicine in the original container. Protect from light and moisture. Keep the container tightly closed. Get rid of any unused medicine after the expiration date.
To get rid of medicines that are no longer needed or have expired:
- Take the medicine to a medicine take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
- If you cannot return the medicine, check the label or package insert to see if the medicine should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your health care provider. If it is safe to put it in the trash, empty the medicine out of the container. Mix the medicine with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy