ADV - Care Pharmacy
195 Riviera Dr. Unit #2,Markham,Ontario
Tel: (905)948-1991

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Brand Name
Xalkori
Common Name
crizotinib
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Crizotinib belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics and more specifically to a class of medications called tyrosine kinase inhibitors. These medications slow the growth of blood vessels that feed nutrients to cancer cells. By slowing the growth of these blood vessels, crizotinib can help reduce the size of tumours.

Crizotinib is used to treat a certain type of cancer of the lymphatic system (called anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive) that cannot be cured by surgical removal or non-small-cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Crizotinib has been granted a notice of compliance with conditions (NOC/c) by Health Canada. This means that Health Canada has approved this medication to be marketed based on promising evidence of effectiveness, but additional results of studies are needed to verify its effectiveness. An NOC/c is used to allow access to products that are used to treat or prevent serious, life-threatening, or severely debilitating illness.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use this medication?

The usual recommended dose of crizotinib is 250 mg taken by mouth twice daily. Your doctor may adjust your dose depending on how you tolerate crizotinib. Swallow the capsules whole – do not crush, dissolve, or open the capsules. Crizotinib can be taken with or without food. Do not take crizotinib with grapefruit, starfruit, pomegranate, Seville oranges, or other similar fruits, since they may interact with crizotinib.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is less than 6 hours until the next dose skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature (between 15°C and 30°C) and keep it out of the reach of children. Do not touch a crushed or broken capsule.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

200 mg
Each hard gelatin capsule, size 0, white opaque/pink opaque, with "Pfizer" on the cap and "CRZ 200" on the body, contains 200 mg of crizotinib. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, microcrystalline cellulose, anhydrous dibasic calcium phosphate, sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate, and hard gelatin capsule shells. The pink opaque capsule shell contains gelatin, titanium dioxide, and red iron oxide. The white opaque gelatin shell contains gelatin and titanium dioxide. The printing ink contains shellac, propylene glycol, strong ammonia solution, potassium hydroxide, and black iron oxide.

250 mg
Each hard gelatin capsule, size 0, pink opaque/pink opaque, with "Pfizer" on the cap and "CRZ 250" on the body, contains 250 mg of crizotinib. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, microcrystalline cellulose, anhydrous dibasic calcium phosphate, sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate, and hard gelatin capsule shells. The pink opaque capsule shell components contain gelatin, titanium dioxide, and red iron oxide. The printing ink contains shellac, propylene glycol, strong ammonia solution, potassium hydroxide, and black iron oxide.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use crizotinib if you:

  • are allergic to crizotinib or any ingredients of the medication
  • have congenital (present at birth) long QT syndrome
What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • change of taste
  • constipation
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • low heart rate
  • nausea
  • rash
  • shortness of breath
  • swelling of the hands and feet
  • symptoms of neuropathy (e.g., numbness, prickling or tingling, burning, freezing, throbbing and/or shooting pain)
  • tiredness
  • upset stomach
  • visual changes such as flashes of light, blurry vision, and double vision
  • vomiting

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • fever
  • heart rhythm abnormality (e.g., dizziness, fainting, or chest discomfort)
  • symptoms of liver problems (e.g., feeling more tired than usual, decreased appetite, skin and whites of eyes turn yellow, stomach pain, dark urine, nausea, vomiting, itching, or bleeding or bruising more easily than normal)
  • symptoms of lung infection or inflammation (e.g., difficulty breathing, cough, or fever)

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., swelling of face or throat, hives, or difficulty breathing)

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Blood clots: Crizotinib may cause formation of blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) that can move to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Blood clots can also cause a heart attack or a stroke. Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you have pain, redness, or swelling in your legs. If you develop chest pain and shortness of breath, seek immediate medical attention. Also seek immediate medical attention if you have sudden headache, dizziness, problems speaking, problems talking, vision problems, or numbness or weakness, even if they are temporary. If you have had a blood clot in the past, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed

Eye problems: You may experience vision disturbances such as flashes of light, blurry vision, and double vision. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. Do not drive or operate other machinery until you know that this medication does not affect your ability to perform these activities safely.

Heart problems: This medication can decrease heart function, which may lead to heart failure. If you experience symptoms of heart failure such as unusual tiredness, shortness of breath, or swelling of the feet and ankles, contact your doctor.

This medication may also cause an abnormal heart rhythm, which often has no symptoms, or a decreased heart rate. If you experience fainting or chest pain while taking this medication, get immediate medical attention.

If you have a history of heart problems (e.g., low heart rate at baseline, heart arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, heart block, QT prolongation), discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Kidney problems: If you have severe kidney problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Liver problems: Crizotinib may cause liver problems that can be severe. Your doctor will monitor your liver function with blood tests while you are taking this medication. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Lung problems: You may experience symptoms of lung inflammation or infection such as difficulty breathing, cough or fever. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

Nerve problems: People taking this medication may experience symptoms of neuropathy (nerve damage) such as numbness, prickling or tingling, burning, freezing, throbbing, and/or shooting pain. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy. Both men and women should use effective birth control during crizotinib treatment. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if crizotinib passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children less than 18 years of age.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between crizotinib and any of the following:

  • alfentanil
  • antiarrhythmics (e.g., amiodarone, quinidine, procainamide, propafenone, sotalol)
  • anticonvulsants (e.g., carbamazepine, phenytoin)
  • antidepressants (e.g., fluoxetine, citalopram, venlafaxine, amitriptyline, imipramine)
  • antifungal medications (e.g., fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, amphotericin B)
  • antimalarials (e.g., quinine, chloroquine)
  • antinauseants (e.g., granisetron, domperidone, ondansetron)
  • antipsychotics (e.g., droperidol, haloperidol, lurasidone)
  • beta-2 agonists (e.g., formoterol, salmeterol)
  • beta-blockers (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol, atenolol)
  • barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital, secobarbital.)
  • budesonide
  • calcium channel blockers (e.g., diltiazem, verapamil)
  • colchicine
  • cyclosporine
  • dabigatran
  • diuretics (e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide)
  • ergotamine and dihydroergotamine
  • eplerenone
  • everolimus
  • fentanyl
  • glucocorticoids (e.g., prednisone, prednisolone, budesonide)
  • grapefruit juice
  • laxatives (e.g., magnesium hydroxide)
  • macrolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin)
  • mifepristone
  • opioid medictations (e.g., methadone)
  • pentamidine
  • pimozide
  • quinolone antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin)
  • quinidine
  • rifabutin
  • rifampin
  • silodosin
  • sirolimus
  • St. John's wort
  • tacrolimus
  • theophylline
  • topotecan
  • tolvaptan
  • tyrosine kinase inhibitors (e.g., sunitinib)
  • vincristine 

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.





The contents of this site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.
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