LIVING WITH ALK+ NSCLC
You might not have to stop doing what you love because you have ALK+ NSCLC. Here are a few things that may help you continue doing the things that are most important to you. Making healthy lifestyle choices could help you keep your strength up and you may feel better, too.
ALECENSA® (alectinib) is a prescription medicine used to treat people with NSCLC that has spread to other parts of the body and that is caused by an abnormal ALK gene. These people have taken the medicine crizotinib, but their NSCLC worsened or they cannot tolerate taking crizotinib.
Healthy eating habits are important—they might help you feel better and stay stronger during your treatment. Talk with your doctor if you need guidance on finding the right diet that could help you maintain a healthy weight and get the nutrients you need. Adding more fruits and vegetables may be a good start.
Physical activity could help improve your physical and emotional health. Talk with your doctor before starting any exercise plan to make sure it fits your level of ability. Some activities that might be suitable for you include short walks or light stretching.
Living with ALK+ NSCLC can be emotionally challenging. If you feel comfortable, you could talk about your fears and concerns with your family members or friends. If you are feeling sad or anxious, tell someone about it. Your doctor may be able to suggest a counselor or help you find a support group at a local hospital.
Consider connecting with other people with lung cancer through support groups you can find in your area or online. You may find that surrounding yourself with others who share your experience and understand what you’re going through can be enlightening and encouraging.
Keep a journal
Writing about your feelings, frustrations, and experiences may help you cope with the emotional burden that comes with this disease. It could also help you keep track of any questions you might have for your doctor.
PATIENT SUPPORT LINE FOR ALECENSA
Speak live with one of our registered oncology nurses and get answers to your ALECENSA treatment questions.
1 (800) ALECENSA (253-2367)
Monday–Friday, 9am–9pm EST
Important Safety Information & Indication
Who Is ALECENSA For?
ALECENSA is a prescription medicine used to treat people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body and:
- whose type of NSCLC is caused by an abnormal anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene, and
- who have taken the medicine crizotinib, but their NSCLC worsened or they cannot tolerate taking crizotinib
It is not known if ALECENSA is safe and effective in children.
The effectiveness of ALECENSA in these patients is based on studies that measured 2 types of response to treatment (response rate and duration of response). There is an ongoing study to find out how ALECENSA works over a longer period of time.
What is the most important information I should know about ALECENSA?
Everyone reacts differently to treatment with ALECENSA. It’s important to know the most serious and most common side effects with ALECENSA.
Your doctor may lower the dose or stop treatment with ALECENSA if any side effects occur. Contact your doctor right away if you have any of the following side effects.
ALECENSA may cause serious side effects, including:
Liver problems (hepatotoxicity). ALECENSA may cause liver injury. Your doctor will do blood tests at least every 2 weeks for the first 3 months and then once a month and as needed during treatment with ALECENSA. Tell your doctor right away if you get any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Feeling tired
- Feeling less hungry than usual
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
- Dark urine
- Itchy skin
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain on the right side of your stomach area
- Bleeding or bruising more easily than normal
Lung problems. ALECENSA may cause severe or life-threatening swelling (inflammation) of the lungs during treatment. Symptoms may be similar to those symptoms from lung cancer. Tell your doctor right away if you have any new or worsening symptoms, including:
- Trouble breathing
- Shortness of breath
Slow heartbeat (bradycardia). ALECENSA may cause very slow heartbeats that can be severe. Your doctor will check your heart rate and blood pressure during treatment with ALECENSA. Tell your doctor right away if you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or faint during treatment with ALECENSA. Tell your doctor if you take any heart or blood pressure medicines.
Muscle pain, tenderness, and weakness (myalgia). Muscle problems are common with ALECENSA and can be severe. Your doctor will do blood tests at least every 2 weeks for the first month and as needed during treatment with ALECENSA. Tell your doctor right away if you have any new or worsening signs and symptoms of muscle problems, including unexplained muscle pain or muscle pain that does not go away, tenderness, or weakness.
What should I tell my doctor before taking ALECENSA?
Before you take ALECENSA, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- Have liver problems
- Have lung or breathing problems
- Have a slow heartbeat
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. ALECENSA can harm your unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment with ALECENSA or think you may be pregnant
- Women who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with ALECENSA and for 1 week after the final dose of ALECENSA
- Men who have female partners that are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with ALECENSA and for 3 months after the final dose of ALECENSA
- Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if ALECENSA passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with ALECENSA and for 1 week after the final dose of ALECENSA. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby during this time
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
What should I avoid while taking ALECENSA?
Avoid spending time in the sunlight during treatment with ALECENSA and for 7 days after the final dose of ALECENSA. You may burn more easily and get severe sunburns. Use sunscreen and lip balm with a SPF 50 or greater to help protect against sunburn.
What are the possible side effects of ALECENSA?
The most common side effects of ALECENSA include:
- Swelling in your hands, feet, ankles, and eyelids
These are not all of the possible side effects of ALECENSA. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.