Ceritinib (Generic Name)

Other Names: Zykadia TM

About This Drug 

Ceritinib is a drug used to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer. This drug is given by mouth (orally).

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • Decrease in appetite
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) that may last for a few days
  • Decrease in hemoglobin (anemia)
  • Increase in liver function tests (AST, ALT, bilirubin)
  • Increase in hemoglobin
  • Increase in glucose

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Rash
  • Increase in serum creatinine
  • Trouble breathing or feeling short of breath
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Irregular heart beat

Treating Side Effects

  • Drink 6-8 cups of fluids each day unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem.  A cup is 8 ounces of fluid.  If you have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluid so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body from losing too much fluid).  Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help stop or lessen the loose bowel movements.
  • If you get a rash do not put anything on it unless your doctor or nurse says you may.  Keep the area around the rash clean and dry.  Ask your doctor for medicine if the rash bothers you.  A rash that looks like acne may happen on your face and upper back when taking this medication.  Your doctor can give you medicine to help treat this.
  • Your doctor will monitor your blood counts, liver tests and glucose while you are taking this medicine.
  • Your heart tissue can be harmed by this drug.  This may cause your heart to beat in a way that is not normal.  Your doctor may order an EKG to check this.

Important Information

  • Take this drug on an empty stomach at least two hours before eating or two hours after eating. 
  • Take the tablet with water and swallow it whole.  Do not break, crush or chew the tablet.
  • If you miss a dose of ceritinib, take it as soon as you remember.  If your next dose is due within 12 hours, then skip the missed dose.  Just take your next dose your normal time.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of ceritinib with food. This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's advice.  Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Rash or itching
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) more than 4 times a day, or diarrhea with feeling weak or lightheaded
  • Very bad fatigue due to a low hemoglobin level

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of these symptoms happen:

  • Trouble breathing or feeling short of breath
  • Slow heart beat
  • Irregular heart beat

Reproduction Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn baby, so effective methods of birth control should be used by both you and your partner during your cancer treatment and for at least 2 weeks after your treatment is done. 
  • Genetic counseling is available for you to talk about the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. Also, a genetic counselor can look at the possible risk of problems in the unborn baby due to this medicine if an exposure happens during pregnancy.
  • Breast feeding warning: Women should not breast feed during treatment with ceritinib since the drug could enter breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

 

New: August 2014

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