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Alecensa (Alectinib)

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Description

What is Alecensa?

  • Alecensa (alectinib) is a medication used to treat lung cancer.

How does it work?

  • It works by inhibiting an enzyme used by the cancer cells to grow, transform, and avoid programmed cell death.

How is it supplied?

  • You can buy Alecensa as a 150mg capsule.

How should I store it?

  • Store your Alecensa capsules at room temperature and keep them out of reach of children.

Directions

Should I take Alecensa with food?

  • You should take your dose with a meal or snack.

Are there any special instructions?

  • Do not open your Alecensa capsules. You should swallow them whole.
  • If you miss a dose or vomit after taking a capsule, skip it, and continue with your next scheduled dose.

What is the usual dose?

  • Take 600mg by mouth twice daily.
  • Your doctor could reduce your dose if you experience adverse effects.

Ingredients

What is the active ingredient in Alecensa?

  • The active ingredient is alectinib hydrochloride.

What are the inactive ingredients?

  • See the package insert for a full list of inactive ingredients.

Cautions

Who should avoid taking Alecensa?

  • Do not use Alecensa if you have a known allergy to any of the ingredients.
  • Alecensa should not be used in pregnancy.
    • Female patients should avoid pregnancy during treatment and for one week after discontinuation. Visit our birth control page for more information.
    • Male patients should use contraception during therapy and for three months after discontinuation.

What are the risks?

  • Tell your doctor if you experience any of the following adverse effects. They could reduce your dose, interrupt your therapy, or discontinue your treatment.
    • Symptomatic bradycardia
      • Slowed heart rate (less than 60 beats per minute)
      • Low blood pressure
      • Chest discomfort
      • Lightheadedness
      • Shortness of breath
    • Muscle pains
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Cough
    • Fever
  • Alecensa treatment can cause an increase in liver enzymes. Your doctor should periodically monitor your liver.
  • Alecensa treatment can cause your kidney function to decrease. Your doctor should monitor your kidney function.

Side Effects

What are the common Alecensa side effects?


  • Edema
  • Constipation
  • Low-grade anemia
  • Low-grade lymphocytopenia
  • Liver enzyme elevation
  • Hyperbilirubinemia
  • Muscle pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue

What are the serious Alecensa side effects?


  • Bradyarrhythmia (see irregular heartbeat page)
  • Endocarditis
  • Intestinal perforation
  • High-grade anemia
  • Bleeding
  • High-grade lymphocytopenia
  • Increased creatinine kinase
  • Kidney impairment
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Pneumonitis
  • Pulmonary embolism