Alectinib is indicated for the first-line treatment of adult patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) positive for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) who were previously treated with Crizotinib or who have not received any treatment.
The recommended dose of Alectinib is 600 mg (four-150 mg capsules) to be taken twice a day at mealtimes (total daily dose of 1200 mg).
Possible side effects of Alectinib
Like all medicines, Alectinib can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. In clinical studies with Alectinib alone the following side effects have been reported:
Very common side effects (may affect more than 1 in 10 people)
- constipation, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting;
- skin erythema;
- pain in the muscles, bones and joints;
- swelling due to fluid accumulation in various body locations (peripheral, generalized, palpebral, periorbital, facial or localized edema).
Common side effects (may affect more than 1 in 100 and less than 1 in 10)
- dysgeusia (alteration of the sense of taste);
- visual disturbances (blurred vision, impaired vision, myodesopsia (floaters), reduced visual acuity, asthenopia (eye fatigue) and diplopia (double vision);
- bradycardia (reduced heart rate);
- stomatitis (mouth ulcers and labial fever);
- photosensitivity (skin reaction, which becomes particularly sensitive to damage caused by sun exposure);
- acute kidney damage (rapid reduction of renal function).
Uncommon side effects (may affect more than 1 in 1,000 people and less than 1 in 100 people)
- interstitial lung disease (inflammation of the lining of the pulmonary alveoli with consequent scar tissue formation, causing shortness of breath);
- pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs, characterized by coughing and difficulty breathing);
- hepatotoxicity (drug-induced liver damage).
Changes in exam results
Alectinib may cause alterations in the results of medical tests, such as:
- anemia (reduction of hemoglobin, which results in a reduced capacity of the blood to carry oxygen);
- abnormal liver function tests (increase in liver enzymes aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase, increased alkaline phosphatase, increased levels of bilirubin in the blood);
- increased levels of creatine phosphokinase (an enzyme found mainly in skeletal muscle and heart muscle) in the blood;
- abnormal kidney function tests (increased levels of creatinine in the blood);
- increase in body weight.