Why is this medication prescribed?
Tecentriq is a brand name for the medication atezolizumab. It is a type of immunotherapy drug used in cancer treatment. Specifically, Tecentriq is prescribed for the following conditions:
- Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Tecentriq may be used as a first-line treatment for NSCLC in combination with other medications or as a second-line treatment when other therapies have failed.
- Small cell lung cancer (SCLC): Tecentriq is prescribed for extensive-stage SCLC, either as a first-line treatment in combination with other drugs or as a second-line treatment after other therapies have been tried.
- Bladder cancer: Tecentriq is indicated for the treatment of advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (bladder cancer) in patients who have disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy.
- Triple-negative breast cancer: Tecentriq may be used in combination with chemotherapy as a treatment for triple-negative breast cancer that is locally advanced or metastatic.
How should this medicine be used?
Tecentriq (atezolizumab) is typically administered intravenously by a healthcare professional in a clinical setting, such as a hospital or outpatient infusion center. Here are the general steps for how Tecentriq is used:
- Preparation: Before administering Tecentriq, the healthcare provider will prepare the medication according to the prescribed dosage and dilution instructions. This may involve mixing the medication with a sterile solution.
- Intravenous infusion: Tecentriq is administered as an intravenous infusion, which means it is delivered directly into a vein through a needle or catheter. The infusion process usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes, although the exact duration may vary.
- Monitoring: During the infusion, the healthcare provider will monitor you closely for any signs of an allergic reaction or other adverse effects. Vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation may be monitored periodically.
- Post-infusion monitoring: After the infusion is complete, you may be observed for a short period to ensure that there are no immediate adverse reactions. If you experience any side effects, such as infusion-related reactions or allergic reactions, the healthcare team will provide appropriate management.
- Follow-up: Depending on the treatment schedule prescribed by your doctor, you may receive Tecentriq infusions every two to three weeks or according to another schedule. It’s essential to attend all scheduled appointments and follow your doctor’s instructions for the duration of treatment.
It’s crucial to remember that Tecentriq should only be administered by trained healthcare professionals experienced in the administration of intravenous medications. If you have any questions or concerns about how Tecentriq is being used or about your treatment plan in general, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare provider.
Other uses for this medicine
Aside from the primary uses mentioned earlier, Tecentriq (atezolizumab) may also be investigated or prescribed off-label for other types of cancer or conditions. However, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider regarding any potential alternative uses.
What special precautions should I follow?
Regarding special precautions for Tecentriq, here are some important considerations:
- Infections: Tecentriq can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you develop signs or symptoms of infection, such as fever, chills, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- Infusion reactions: Some people may experience infusion-related reactions during or after receiving Tecentriq. These reactions can include fever, chills, flushing, rash, itching, shortness of breath, or low blood pressure. Your healthcare team will monitor you closely during the infusion and may provide medications to manage any reactions that occur.
- Immune-related adverse events: Tecentriq works by activating the immune system, which can lead to immune-related adverse events affecting various organs and systems in the body. These may include pneumonitis (inflammation of the lungs), colitis (inflammation of the colon), hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), endocrinopathies (disorders of the endocrine glands), and others. It’s essential to promptly report any new or worsening symptoms to your healthcare provider.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Tecentriq may cause harm to a developing fetus and is not recommended during pregnancy. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, discuss the potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider. It is also not known whether Tecentriq passes into breast milk, so breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment.
- Interactions with other medications: Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with Tecentriq and affect its effectiveness or increase the risk of side effects.
- Monitoring: Your healthcare provider will monitor you closely during treatment with Tecentriq for any signs of adverse effects or complications. This may involve regular blood tests, imaging studies, or other diagnostic tests to assess your response to treatment and detect any potential problems early.
Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and advice regarding the use of Tecentriq and any additional precautions specific to your individual situation. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your healthcare team.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Regarding special dietary instructions for Tecentriq, there are no specific dietary restrictions associated with this medication. However, it’s essential to maintain a healthy and balanced diet to support your overall health and immune function during treatment. Be sure to stay well-hydrated and eat a variety of nutritious foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you forget a dose of Tecentriq, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible to determine the appropriate course of action. It’s essential to follow your prescribed treatment schedule closely to ensure the best possible outcomes. Your healthcare provider may adjust your treatment plan accordingly based on the missed dose and other factors. Avoid trying to make up for missed doses on your own without consulting your healthcare provider.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Tecentriq (atezolizumab) can cause a range of side effects, some of which may be mild, while others can be more severe. Common side effects of Tecentriq may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle or joint pain
- Shortness of breath
- Changes in blood pressure
- Infusion-related reactions (e.g., fever, chills, flushing, rash)
In addition to these common side effects, Tecentriq can also lead to immune-related adverse events due to its mechanism of action, which involves activating the immune system. These immune-related adverse events can affect various organs and systems in the body and may include:
- Pneumonitis (inflammation of the lungs)
- Colitis (inflammation of the colon)
- Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
- Endocrinopathies (disorders of the endocrine glands)
- Thyroid disorders
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Hypophysitis (inflammation of the pituitary gland)
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
- Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)
- Nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys)
It’s essential to promptly report any new or worsening symptoms to your healthcare provider, as early detection and management of these side effects are crucial for your safety and well-being. Your healthcare team will monitor you closely during treatment with Tecentriq and may perform regular blood tests, imaging studies, or other diagnostic tests to assess your response to treatment and detect any potential problems.
Remember to discuss any concerns or questions about side effects with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on managing side effects and adjusting your treatment plan as needed to optimize your care.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Storage and disposal of Tecentriq:
- Storage: Tecentriq is typically stored in a healthcare facility or pharmacy where it will be administered. It is usually supplied in single-use vials and should be stored under refrigeration at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F). Do not freeze or shake the medication. Protect Tecentriq from light by keeping it in its original carton until ready for use.
- Disposal: Since Tecentriq is administered by healthcare professionals in a clinical setting, any unused or expired medication will be disposed of according to proper medical waste disposal guidelines. Do not attempt to dispose of Tecentriq at home. If you have any questions about the disposal of medication, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of an emergency or suspected overdose with Tecentriq, seek immediate medical attention or contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. There is no specific antidote for Tecentriq overdose, but healthcare providers will provide supportive care and monitor you for any adverse reactions or complications.
What other information should I know?
- Keep all appointments for Tecentriq infusions as scheduled by your healthcare provider.
- Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with Tecentriq.
- Report any new or worsening symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly, including signs of infection, infusion-related reactions, or immune-related adverse events.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding any additional precautions or monitoring during treatment with Tecentriq.
- Do not receive any vaccinations without first consulting your healthcare provider while receiving treatment with Tecentriq.
- It’s essential to understand the potential risks and benefits of Tecentriq treatment and to discuss any questions or concerns with your healthcare provider.
Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and recommendations regarding the use of Tecentriq and any additional precautions or guidance specific to your individual situation. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your healthcare team.