What is Crizotinib?

Crizotinib is an anti-cancer medication prescribed to treat lung cancer. This medication is advised to use under medical supervision only. Not advised to use in patients less than 18 years old.

Type of drug

Crizotinib belongs to signal transduction inhibitor group of medicine which is known as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor in medical terminology.

Use in brief

Crizotinib is prescribed to use in the treatment of lung cancer.


Crizotinib itself is an active ingredient in several branded medicine such as Crizalk 250 mg Capsule.


Crizotinib is prescribed in the treatment of Advanced Lung Cancer whose tumours are anaplastic lymphoma kinase positive.

How does  Crizotinib work?

This medicine basically belongs to anti-cancer type of drugs and works by blocking abnormal protein that trigger the multiplication of cancer causing cells and helps to slow down or stop the spread of cancer causing cells.

Also, read about similar medications

How to Take Crizotinib?

Form of medicine – Crizotinib medicine is available in the form of capsules

When and How to use

Follow the instructions as mentioned in the prescription. Generally used with or without food. Never crush or chew the capsules but swallow the whole medicine along with some water or liquids. In general this medicine is advised to use with food.

Common Dosage

The recommended dose of Crizotinib is 250 mg orally, twice daily until disease progression or no longer tolerated by the patient. The recommended dose of Crizotinib in patients with severe renal impairment is 250mg once daily.      

Dosage depends on the severity of the health condition been treated and is decided by the doctor. Follow the instruction by your doctor. Never miss a dose or take excess dose. Consult your doctor immediately if any excess dosage happens by mistake.

When to Avoid Crizotinib?

Crizotinib is not advised to use in some health conditions such as:

  • Allergic reaction towards the Crizotinib medication
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding

Advised to use with precautions and medical supervision in below mentioned health conditions

  • Patients with kidney disorders
  • Patients with liver disorders
  • Patients with lung diseases

Side-effects of Crizotinib

Crizotinib may possibly show some side effects in some patients. It is advised to consult your doctor if any of such side effects are noticed and if they are prolonged. Below mentioned are some possible side effects by Crizotinib. It may show side effects that are not mentioned here in this list.

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Edema
  • Rashes
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vision disorder
  • Dizziness
  • Taste change
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased WBC count (WBC or neutrophils)
  • upper respiratory infection
  • Feeling of numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Crizotinib may cause decreased fertility in females and males. In females, this could affect your ability to become pregnant. In males, this could affect your ability to father a child.

Effects on organs:

Liver: It causes Liver Toxicity

Lung: Interstitial Lung Disease (Pneumonitis)

Eyes: Severe visual loss

Heart: Bradycardia, QT Interval Prolongation

It is advised to use with extreme precautions and medical supervision in case of severe health disorders or impairment related to these organs. It is advised to consult the doctor and share detailed information about the current health condition so that the doctor can alter the dosage depending on the patient’s health condition.

Reported Allergic Reactions?

No major allergic reactions are noticed in case of Crizotinib. But it is not recommended in patients who have known allergic reactions towards Crizotinib.

Effect on menstrual cycle

Generally no effect noted on the menstrual cycle. You may consult your gynaecologist.

Drug Interactions to Be Careful About

Crizotinib may possibly show drug interaction with some other medication if they are used together. It is advised to share the medication details that you might be using any with your doctor before he prescribes this medicine to you.

Crizotinib has the possibility of showing drug interaction if used along with the below mentioned list of medicine.

  • Escitalopram
  • Atazanavir
  • Amoxapine
  • Ofloxacin
  • Fluconazole
  • Cisapride
  • carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, rifampin, and St. John’s Wort.
  • alfentanil, cyclosporine, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, fentanyl, pimozide, quinidine, sirolimus, and tacrolimus.

Interactions with health conditions

Crizotinib may possibly show adverse effects in some health conditions and it is advised to use this medicine with extreme precautions and medical supervision. Below mentioned are some disease interactions that Crizotinib may show.

  • Lung disorders
  • Renal impairment
  • Hepatic impairment

Food interactions

Consumption of grapefruit or grapefruit juice is not advised as this may affect the medicine levels in the blood and cause severe side effects such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, mouth sores, diarrhea, hair loss, pain, numbness, weakness. Follow the guidelines mentioned in the prescription as a safety precaution.

Interactions with laboratory procedures

Increased liver function blood test results with crizotinib has been reported. It is always good to share details about your current medication before attending any lab tests so that you doctor and lab technician are aware off.

Is Crizotinib Addictive?

No drug addiction is noticed in case of Crizotinib.

Can I have Crizotinib with alcohol?

Limited data is available about the effect of Crizotinib if consumed with alcohol. Consult your doctor if you have a habit of taking alcohol at regular basis.

Can I have Crizotinib When Pregnant?

Not advised to use in general in pregnant women. But with consultation and supervision in case if unavoidable and the intended benefits are more compared to possible side effects.

Can I have Crizotinib when feeding a baby?

Not advised to use in general in breastfeeding women. But with consultation and supervision in case if unavoidable and the intended benefits are more compared to possible side effects. If this medicine is prescribed during breastfeeding, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until the treatment is completed.

Can I drive after taking Crizotinib?

Some patients may feel dizzy and alertness may be decreased and in such conditions it is not advised to do activities that require alertness such ad driving or operating heavy machinery.

Effect of overdose Crizotinib

Serious adverse effects may be possible if overdosage happens in large quantities. Consult your doctor immediately in such situations.

Effect of using expired Crizotinib?

It is advised not to use any medicine that is expired to avoid any adverse effects. Consult your doctor immediately if any adverse effects are noticed by taking any expired medicine. It is advised to check the label while purchasing the medicine to verify the expiry date to be safe.

Effect of missing a dose of Crizotinib

No major adverse effects are noticed if only one dosage is missed. But if you are missing the dosages regularly, it is advised to keep a reminder so that you don’t miss the regular dosage.

Storage requirements

It is advised to store the medication away from direct sunlight and to keep at room temperature. Keep away from the reach of the children and pets.

Different Brands of Crizotinib medicine available

Below mentioned is the available brand of medicine that contains Crizotinib as key ingredient, and your doctor may prescribe this to treat the condition.

  • Crizalk 250 mg Capsule – manufactured by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
  • Xalkori 250mg Capule –manufactured by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Ltd.


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