Cancer Home > Crizotinib Side Effects

While most people can take crizotinib without experiencing problems, side effects are possible with this chemotherapy drug. Some of the most common reactions include vision problems, constipation, and swelling due to fluid retention. Most of these problems are easy to treat. However, you may need medical attention if you develop side effects such as fainting, fever, or breathing problems.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Crizotinib

Just like any medicine, crizotinib (Xalkori®) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with crizotinib. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Crizotinib Side Effects

Some side effects of crizotinib are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Signs of infection, such as:
  • Breathing problems or shortness of breath
  • An abnormal or fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • A very slow heart rate
  • Vision problems, including flashes of light, blurred vision, or "floaters"
  • Signs of liver problems, such as:
    • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
    • Dark urine
    • Extreme tiredness
    • Pain on the upper-right area of the abdomen (stomach)
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling, especially of the mouth, lips, or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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