What is Alecensa used for?
- Alecensa is used to treat lung cancer.
Before taking Alecensa, tell your doctor:
- If you are allergic to Alecensa; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take Alecensa and for 1 week after your last dose.
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Alecensa with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Alecensa?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Alecensa. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Check blood pressure and heart rate as the doctor has told you.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
- You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun. Keep protecting yourself from sunburn for as long as you were told by your doctor.
- Rarely, side effects reported in people taking Alecensa have been deadly. These include bleeding problems, kidney problems, trouble breathing, a hole in the bowel, blood clots in the lungs, or a heart infection called endocarditis. Talk with your doctor if you have questions.
- If you are a man and have sex with a female who could get pregnant, protect her from pregnancy during treatment and for 3 months after your last dose.
- If you are a man and your sex partner gets pregnant while you take Alecensa or within 3 months after your last dose, call your doctor right away.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking Alecensa and for 1 week after your last dose.
- If you get pregnant while taking Alecensa or within 1 week after your last dose, call your doctor right away.
How is Alecensa best taken?
Use Alecensa as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with food.
- Swallow whole. Do not crush, chew, or dissolve the capsule or its contents.
- Do not open the capsules.
- Keep taking Alecensa as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- If you throw up after taking a dose, do not repeat the dose. Take your next dose at your normal time.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are the side effects of Alecensa that I need to call my doctor about immediately?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of lung or breathing problems like shortness of breath or other trouble breathing, cough, or fever.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- Signs of electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, seizures, not hungry, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Slow heartbeat.
- Dizziness or passing out.
- Muscle pain or weakness.
- Change in eyesight.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Low white blood cell counts have happened with Alecensa. This may lead to a higher chance of getting an infection. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat.
What are some other side effects of Alecensa?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Back pain.
- Weight gain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If overdose is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Alecensa?
- Store in the original container at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Protect from heat.
- Protect from light.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use and disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Alecensa, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Alecensa or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Alecensa. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.