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Atezolizumab Injection

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Atezolizumab injection is used:

  • In patients who are unable to receive platinum-containing chemotherapy to treat specific forms of urothelial carcinoma (cancer of the lining of the bladder and other areas of the urinary tract) that have spread or cannot be removed by surgery (carboplatin, cisplatin),
  • For certain varieties of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that have progressed to other regions of the body, alone or in combination with other chemotherapy drugs,
  • In order to treat a specific kind of NSCLC that has migrated to other body regions and that has gotten worse during or following treatment with other chemotherapy drugs,
  • After surgery to remove it and following treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy, alone to treat and prevent the recurrence of a certain form of NSCLC (carboplatin, cisplatin),
  • In patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have not previously received chemotherapy, in addition to bevacizumab (Avastin), to treat HCC that has spread or cannot be eliminated with surgery, and
  • To treat specific forms of melanoma (a type of skin cancer) that have spread or cannot be eliminated through surgery in conjunction with cobimetinib (Cotellic) and vemurafenib (Zelboraf).

The drug atezolizumab injection belongs to the monoclonal antibody drug class. It functions by preventing a specific protein in cancer cells from doing its job. This aids in slowing the growth of tumours and aids the immune system’s defence against cancer cells.

How should this medicine be used?

A doctor or nurse must provide atezolizumab injection into a vein over the course of 30 to 60 minutes in a hospital or other healthcare setting. Depending on your dose, it is typically injected once every 2, 3, or 4 weeks. Your doctor will choose the duration of your therapy based on the type of cancer being treated, how well your body reacts to the drug, and any adverse effects you encounter.

When the medication is being infused, atezolizumab injection may result in serious side effects. As you take the drug, a doctor or nurse will keep a close eye on you. Tell your doctor right away if you suffer any of the following symptoms: Itching, rash, back or neck discomfort, swelling of the face or lips, flushing, fever, chills, shivering, disorientation, feeling faint, shortness of breath, wheezing, difficulty breathing.

If you have specific side effects, your doctor may need to reduce the rate of your infusion, postpone or discontinue your therapy, or treat you with a different medicine. Tell your doctor how you are feeling throughout your atezolizumab injection therapy.

When you start atezolizumab injection therapy and after each dose, your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet (Medication Guide). If you have any questions, carefully read the material and contact your doctor or pharmacist. The Medication Guide is also available on the manufacturer’s website or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving atezolizumab injection,

  • If you have an allergy to atezolizumab, any other drugs, or any of the ingredients in atezolizumab injection, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. For a list of the ingredients, consult the Medication Guide or speak with your pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products that you are now taking or intend to use. Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
  • Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had an organ transplant, bone marrow transplant, radiation therapy to the chest, lung or breathing issues, any nervous system disorders like myasthenia gravis (a disorder of the nervous system that causes muscle weakness) or Guillain-Barré syndrome (weakness, tingling, and potentially paralysis due to sudden nerve damage), an autoimmune disease, or any other medical conditions that may affect your body (condition in which the immune system attacks a healthy part of the body) such as lupus, diabetes, thyroid issues, kidney or liver disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease, in which the immune system attacks the lining of the digestive tract and causes pain, diarrhoea, weight loss, and fever. Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks numerous tissues and organs, including the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys. Inform your physician whether you now have or have ever had cytomegalovirus (CMV; a viral infection that may cause symptoms in patients with weak immune systems).
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, let your doctor know. Before beginning treatment, you must take a pregnancy test. While receiving atezolizumab injection and for five months following your final dose, you shouldn’t get pregnant. Consult your physician about birth control options you can take while undergoing therapy. Call your doctor right away if you get pregnant while having atezolizumab injection. The foetus could be harmed by atezolizumab.
  • Inform your doctor if you are nursing a child. Most likely, your doctor will advise against breastfeeding throughout your treatment and for five months following your last dosage.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Side effects from atezolizumab injection are possible. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Joint, neck, or back pain
  • Light skin
  • Arms swelling
  • Reduced appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Hair fall

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • Stomach pain, diarrhoea, bloody or mucusy stools, or dark, tarry stools
  • Fever, nausea, and vomiting, along with persistent discomfort that starts in the upper left or centre of the stomach but may move to the back.
  • Frequent, urgent, difficult, or painful urination, a sore throat, a cough, chills, flu-like symptoms, or other indicators of infection
  • Reduced urination, blood in the urine, ankle or foot edoema, or loss of appetite
  • Chest pain, a new or worsening cough that may be bloody, and shortness of breath
  • Extreme fatigue, bleeding or bruising easily, nausea or vomiting, pain in the upper right side of the stomach, dark (tea-colored) urine, and decreased appetite are all symptoms of jaundice.
  • Headaches that won’t go away or unusual headaches; extreme exhaustion; rapid heartbeat; constipation; increased sweating; feeling cold; deepening of voice; hair loss; feeling more famished or thirsty than usual; dizziness or fainting; increased urination; weight loss or gain; vision changes; changes in mood or behaviour, such as a decrease in sex drive or feeling agitated, confused, or forgetful.
  • Blisters or peeling skin, rashes, or itching
  • Throat, mouth, nose, or genital sores
  • Neck stiffness; persistent muscle discomfort, cramping, or weakness
  • Arms or legs that are numb or tingly
  • Eye pain or redness, sensitivity to light or other vision issues, blurry or double vision, or other symptoms
  • Having unusually high levels of hunger or thirst, excessive urination, intense fatigue, sluggishness, and fruity-smelling breath.
  • Shortness of breath, an erratic or rapid heartbeat, and ankle swelling

Other side effects from atezolizumab injection are possible. If you have any strange side effects while taking this medicine, call your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. Before and during your atezolizumab injection treatment, your doctor will order specific lab tests to monitor your body’s reaction to the medication. Before you start treatment for some illnesses, your doctor may run a blood test to determine whether atezolizumab is an option for treating your malignancy.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Tecentriq®
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