Alectinib is an active substance present in the medication termed Alecensa and it belongs to a group of medications known as protein kinase inhibitors. Alecensa is a cancer-fighting medication and it is used to treat patients suffering from Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC is a type of lung cancer). This anti-cancer medication works by blocking the activity of chemicals that help in the multiplication of cancer cells. Alecensa (Alectinib) is available in the form of a capsule with a strength of 150mg.
Alectinib is a kinase inhibitor used to treat patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) positive anaplastic lymphoma. It is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells that exhibit the ALK-EML4 (echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4) fusion protein, which promotes NSCLC cells to proliferate. ALK inhibition reduces tumour cell survival by preventing phosphorylation and subsequent downstream activation of STAT3 and AKT.
Other medicines may interact with Alecensa, causing severe adverse reactions. During your treatment with Alecensa (Alectinib) capsules, talk with your healthcare professional about the possibility of interactions with other medications, diseases, foods, and alcohol.
Medicine interactions:- leflunomide, pexidartinib, teriflunomide, aminolevulinic acid, siponimod, etc can interact with Alecensa (Alectinib) capsule and it may increase or decrease the excretion rate, serum concentration, and metabolism. It may also reduce the therapeutic efficacy of Alecensa (Alectinib) capsules when used in combination with other medications.
Disease interactions:- the use of the Alecensa capsule may interact with a number of other diseases such as lung toxicity, hepatic impairment, myalgia, renal impairment, and bradycardia. To avoid these major or moderate interactions, caution and monitoring of the clinical condition are recommended in patients while receiving therapy with Alecensa (Alectinib) capsules.
Food interactions:- Avoid the use of products that can interact with Alecensa capsules because it can cause severe allergic reactions and it includes signs and symptoms like – headache, increased blood pressure, diarrhea, constipation, blisters, vomiting, loss of appetite, dehydration, indigestion, etc.
Alcohol interactions:- consuming alcohol while receiving treatment with Alecensa (Alectinib) capsules may increase the risk of blurred vision, dizziness, and drowsiness in patients. It is better to avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages and consult with your health professional before consuming them.
Q1. What is Alecensa (Alectinib)?
Ans. Alecensa capsule is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. This medication is used to treat a certain type of lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
Q2. How does Alecensa (Alectinib) work?
Ans. Alecensa (Alectinib) capsule is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). Tyrosine kinases are specific enzymes (a type of protein) that may signal cancer cells to grow. TKI’s block these cell signals and by barricading the signals, they prevent the growth of the cancer cells. This medication blocks the abnormal ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase) protein.
Q3. What are the side effects?
Ans. Some common side effects are:- vomiting, constipation, chest pain, joint pain, shortness of breath, muscle and bone pain, weakness, fever, weight gain, swelling, skin rash, slow heart rate.
Q4. What should I avoid while receiving this medication?
Ans. Protect yourself from sunburn and follow your doctor’s instructions and restrictions about any food and other activities.
Q5. How to take this medicine?
Ans. It is important to take the Alecensa capsule as prescribed by your doctor. Swallow the whole capsule with a glass of water and take it regularly at the same time every day. Do not take this medicine in the wrong way as it may lead to some severe side effects.
Q6. What are the warnings and precautions?
Ans. Before starting treatment with the Alecensa capsule, please inform your doctor about your previous medical history.
- Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to Alectinib.
- Regular monitoring of heart rate and blood pressure is required because this medication may increase the risk of bradycardia (decreased heart rate).
- Do not crush or break the tablet.
- Do not take this medicine If you have lung problems or breathing problems without consulting with your doctor.
Q7. Can I take this medicine during pregnancy?
Ans. Do not use Alecensa capsules if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This medication can cause harm to the unborn baby.
Q8. What are the storage conditions?
Ans. Store this medicine in a refrigerator. Keep it away from direct heat and light. Please consult your pharmacist or doctor for more details regarding the Alecensa (Alectinib).
Q9. What happens if I miss a dose?
Ans. If you miss a scheduled dose of Alecensa capsule, contact your doctor immediately. Do not stop or change your dosing schedule without taking suggestions from your doctor.
Q10. Can I drive after taking this medicine?
Ans. Alecensa capsules may cause dizziness in some patients. Do not drive if you experience any symptoms of dizziness because it may affect your ability to drive.