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Xalkori (Generic Crizotinib)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Xalkori is a brand name for the medication crizotinib. It is primarily prescribed for the treatment of certain types of cancer, specifically:

  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC): Xalkori is indicated for the treatment of metastatic NSCLC that is anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive.
  • ROS1-Positive Metastatic NSCLC: It is also used for the treatment of metastatic NSCLC that is ROS1-positive.

Crizotinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that works by inhibiting specific proteins involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells.

How should this medicine be used?

Here are the general guidelines for using Xalkori:

  • Dosage: The dosage of Xalkori may vary depending on the specific cancer being treated and individual patient factors. It is crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and schedule provided by the healthcare provider.
  • Administration: Xalkori is usually taken orally, with or without food. The capsules should be swallowed whole and not crushed or opened. If a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as remembered unless it is almost time for the next scheduled dose. Double doses should not be taken to make up for a missed dose.
  • Regular Monitoring: Patients prescribed Xalkori will likely undergo regular medical check-ups and laboratory tests to monitor the response to the medication and check for any potential side effects.
  • Interactions: It’s important to inform the healthcare provider about all medications, including over-the-counter drugs, supplements, and herbal products, being taken concurrently to avoid potential interactions.
  • Side Effects: Like any medication, Xalkori may cause side effects. Common side effects may include vision problems, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and edema. However, individuals may experience different side effects, and it’s crucial to report any unusual or severe reactions to the healthcare provider.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Patients should inform their healthcare provider if they are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, as Xalkori may have potential risks to the fetus.

Always follow the specific instructions and guidance provided by the prescribing healthcare professional. This information is general and should not replace the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Other uses for this medicine

While crizotinib is primarily used for ALK-positive and ROS1-positive NSCLC, ongoing research may explore its potential use in other types of cancer or conditions. Clinical trials are often conducted to investigate the safety and efficacy of medications in various settings. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or check recent medical literature for any updates on the uses of Xalkori.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special Precautions for Xalatan:

  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Xalkori may have potential risks to a developing fetus, and it is generally not recommended during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Women of childbearing age should use effective contraception during treatment. Breastfeeding is also not recommended during Xalkori therapy.
  • Liver Function: Patients with pre-existing liver conditions or impairment may require special monitoring during Xalkori treatment. The healthcare provider may adjust the dosage or provide additional guidance based on liver function tests.
  • Vision Problems: Xalkori may cause visual disturbances. Patients should be advised to report any changes in vision, such as blurred vision or visual flashes, to their healthcare provider promptly.
  • Drug Interactions: Xalkori can interact with other medications, affecting their efficacy or increasing the risk of side effects. It’s essential to inform the healthcare provider about all medications, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements, being taken concurrently.
  • Cardiac Effects: Crizotinib may affect the heart, leading to QT interval prolongation. Patients with a history of or predisposition to QT interval prolongation or heart rhythm abnormalities may require monitoring.
  • Lung Effects: Interstitial lung disease (ILD) or pneumonitis has been reported with Xalkori. Patients should be monitored for respiratory symptoms, and treatment may need to be interrupted or discontinued if ILD is suspected.
  • Renal Impairment: The dosage of Xalkori may need adjustment in patients with severe renal impairment.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Xalkori may cause dizziness or visual disturbances. Patients should exercise caution when driving or operating machinery until they know how the medication affects them.

It’s important for individuals prescribed Xalkori to have open and regular communication with their healthcare provider regarding their medical history, any medications they are taking, and any new or worsening symptoms experienced during treatment. As treatment guidelines may evolve, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for the most current information.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Xalkori. However, it’s important to take the medication as directed, usually with or without food, as indicated by the healthcare provider. If there are specific concerns or dietary considerations, it’s advisable to discuss them with the healthcare team.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for the next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular dosing schedule.
  • Avoid taking a double dose to make up for a missed one.
  • If you are unsure about what to do, contact your healthcare provider or follow the specific instructions provided by them.
  • It’s important to maintain regular communication with your healthcare team and inform them of any missed doses or concerns about the medication. They can provide guidance based on your specific situation.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Xalkori, also known as crizotinib, is a medication used in the treatment of certain types of cancer, particularly non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is positive for an abnormal anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene or a ROS1 gene rearrangement. As with any medication, Xalkori can cause side effects. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and the severity can vary from person to person. Common side effects of Xalkori include:

  • Nausea: Feeling sick to your stomach.
  • Diarrhea: An increase in the frequency of bowel movements or loose stools.
  • Vomiting: The forceful expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth.
  • Constipation: Difficulty or infrequency in bowel movements.
  • Vision problems: Blurred vision, double vision, or other changes in vision.
  • Edema: Swelling, usually in the legs, ankles, or other parts of the body.
  • Liver enzyme elevation: Increased levels of liver enzymes in the blood, which may indicate liver problems.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or weak.
  • Decreased appetite: A reduced desire for food.
  • Upper respiratory symptoms: Cough, shortness of breath, or other respiratory issues.
  • Rash: Skin irritation or eruptions.
  • Abnormal blood tests: Changes in blood counts or other laboratory tests.

It’s important to promptly report any unusual or severe side effects to your healthcare provider. Additionally, since Xalkori can cause vision problems, regular eye examinations may be recommended during treatment.

Serious side effects may include severe allergic reactions, liver problems, lung problems, and others. This is not an exhaustive list of side effects, and individual experiences may vary. Always consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for the most accurate and up-to-date information about the specific side effects associated with Xalkori. They can provide guidance on managing side effects and monitor your overall health during treatment.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and Disposal of Xalkori:

  • Storage:
    • Store Xalkori (crizotinib) at room temperature, away from excessive heat and moisture.
    • Keep it in its original container, and make sure the container is tightly closed.
    • Avoid exposing the medication to extreme temperatures.
  • Disposal:
    • Follow local regulations or guidelines for the proper disposal of unused or expired medications.
    • Do not flush Xalkori down the toilet or pour it down the drain unless instructed to do so.
    • Consult with a pharmacist or healthcare provider for guidance on safe disposal methods, such as using drug take-back programs or community disposal programs.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In the case of a suspected overdose or emergency, seek immediate medical attention or contact a poison control center.
  • Symptoms of overdose may include severe nausea, vomiting, or vision problems.
  • It’s important to have the medication container or information available to provide details about the medication to healthcare professionals.

What other information should I know?

  • Regular Monitoring: Patients taking Xalkori typically undergo regular medical check-ups and laboratory tests to monitor treatment response and detect any potential side effects.
  • Follow Healthcare Provider’s Instructions: Adhere to the prescribed dosage and schedule provided by the healthcare provider. Report any new or worsening symptoms, side effects, or concerns to the healthcare team.
  • Drug Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements, being taken concurrently, as Xalkori may interact with other drugs.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Discuss family planning and contraception with your healthcare provider if you are of childbearing potential. Xalkori is not recommended during pregnancy, and breastfeeding is contraindicated.
  • Vision Changes: Report any changes in vision promptly to the healthcare provider.
  • Travel Considerations: Consult with your healthcare provider if you plan to travel, especially if it involves changes in time zones or extended periods away from regular medical supervision.
  • Regular Follow-Up: Attend all scheduled appointments with the healthcare provider to monitor the progress of treatment and address any concerns.
  • Informing Healthcare Providers: Ensure that all healthcare providers involved in your care are aware of your Xalkori treatment, including dentists and specialists.

As information and guidelines may change over time, it’s important to stay in communication with your healthcare provider and keep them informed about your health status and any changes in your condition. If you have specific questions or concerns about Xalkori, consult with your healthcare team for the most up-to-date information tailored to your situation.

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