Alectinib is prescribed for the treatment of a certain type (anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive) of non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
It belongs to a group of medicines known as kinase Inhibitors given for patients who cannot take another drug, crizotinib, or in those in whom crizotinib was ineffective.
Alectinib may slow down or stop the growth and spread of cancer cells by specifically blocking the protein which signals them to multiply.
Alectinib should not be used in patients who are allergic to the drug, patients with the history of liver or lung disease, exposure to excessive sunlight, during pregnancy or breast feeding.
The recommended dose of alectinib is 600mg to be taken twice daily with food.
Alectinib comes in the form of a capsule of 150mg each to be taken twice a day with food. Do not open or crush the capsule; it should be swallowed as a whole.
• Alectinib should not be used during pregnancy or breast feeding as it may harm the fetus. Men and women should use contraceptives during treatment. Women should continue the use of birth control methods for at least a week after the end of treatment, while men should use contraceptives for three months following the last dose.
• Avoid prolonged exposure of sunlight and use a sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50 or more while taking alectinib and for a week after the last dose as the drug is capable of making the skin sensitive to sunlight.
• General: Muscle pain, weakness, swelling in the hands and the feet, increased weight.
• Gastrointestinal: Constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite.
• Skin: Rash
• Central Nervous System: Headache
• Respiratory System: Cough, lung disease, difficulty in breathing.
• Eye: Blurred vision, changes in vision.
• Cardiovascular System: Chest pain, reduced heart rate, fainting.
• Liver: Liver damage resulting in yellowing of skin and white of eyes, dark urine and itchy skin.
• Do not take double the dose of the drug to compensate the missed dose.
• Doctors must inform patients about side effects of muscle pain and pneumonia while prescribing the drug.
Avoid the use of alectinib with any other drug which can reduce heart rate due to possible additive effect.
Store the medicine in a tightly closed container at room temperature. Protect from excess heat, light and moisture. Keep out of reach of children.
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