HOW TO TAKE ALECENSA® (alectinib)
Taking ALECENSA exactly as prescribed by your doctor will help you get the most out of your treatment. Your doctor may change your dose of ALECENSA or tell you to stop taking ALECENSA depending on how you are doing on treatment. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about how to take ALECENSA.
Follow the instructions below for the recommended starting dose of
Take ALECENSA 2 times a day—every 12 hours
Each dose of ALECENSA has 4 capsules—you will take 8 capsules a day
Take ALECENSA with food
Tips that may help you take ALECENSA as your doctor prescribed
Make ALECENSA a part of your routine by taking your medicine at the
same time every day. For example, you may want to take ALECENSA in the
morning with breakfast and in the evening with dinner.
Use a calendar or your smartphone to remind you to take your medicine.
Keep a list of all the medicines you take and tell your doctor before taking any new medicine.
Important dosing information
What to do if you miss a dose
- If you miss a dose of ALECENSA, do not take the missed dose
- Take your next dose at your regular time
What to do if you vomit after a dose
- If you vomit after taking a dose of ALECENSA, do not take an extra dose
- Take your next dose at your regular time
Things to remember
- Remember to take ALECENSA exactly as your doctor tells you to
- Do not change your dose or stop taking ALECENSA unless your doctor tells you to
- Your doctor may change your dose, temporarily stop, or permanently stop treatment with ALECENSA if you have side effects
- Swallow ALECENSA capsules whole. Do not open or dissolve the capsule contents
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. Your healthcare provider will perform a test to make sure that ALECENSA is right for you.
It is not known if ALECENSA is safe and effective in children.
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 1 time each 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
Kidney problems. ALECENSA may cause severe or life-threatening kidney problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have a change in the amount or color of your urine, or if you get new or worsening swelling in your legs or feet.
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 if you 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 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, face, and eyelids
- Muscle pain, tenderness, and weakness (myalgia)
- Low red blood cell count
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.