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Generic Name: alectinib (al EK ti nib)
Brand Names: Alecensa
Alecensa (alectinib) is used to treat ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer. Includes Alecensa side effects, interactions and indications.
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Drug Information:
Alecensa (alectinib) is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Alecensa is used to treat a certain type of non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Alecensa is used only if your cancer has a specific genetic marker (an abnormal "ALK" gene). Your doctor will test you for this gene. Alecensa can cause serious or life-threatening side effects. Call your doctor right away if you have: heart problems--severe dizziness, very slow heartbeats; lung problems--fever, chest pain, cough, trouble breathing; kidney problems--a change in your urine color, little or no urination, swelling in your lower legs; or liver problems--upper stomach pain, dark urine, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin or eyes. Learn more

Alecensa Side Effects

Alecensa Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about alectinib. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Alecensa.

In Summary

Common side effects of Alecensa include: cough, dyspnea, increased creatine phosphokinase in blood specimen, increased serum aspartate aminotransferase, musculoskeletal pain, and myalgia. Other side effects include: bradycardia, and increased serum bilirubin. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to alectinib: oral capsule

Along with its needed effects, alectinib (the active ingredient contained in Alecensa) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking alectinib:

More common

  • Bloody urine
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • cough
  • decreased frequency or amount of urine
  • difficulty with moving
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased thirst
  • joint pain or swelling
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • muscle aching or cramping
  • muscle pains or stiffness
  • nausea
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs
  • troubled breathing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • weight gain

Less common

  • Clay-colored stools
  • dark urine
  • decreased appetite
  • fever
  • headache
  • itching or skin rash
  • stomach pain or tenderness
  • yellow eyes or skin


  • Difficulty breathing

Some side effects of alectinib may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Back pain
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blurred vision
  • difficulty having a bowel movement
  • double vision
  • lack or loss of strength
  • rapid weight gain
  • rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin
  • seeing double
  • seeing floating dark spots or material before the eyes
  • swelling around the eyes
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • vision changes

Less common

  • Change in taste
  • loss of taste

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to alectinib: oral capsule


Very common (10% or more): Anemia (62%), lymphopenia (14%), neutropenia (14%)


Very common (10% or more): Increased AST (51%), increased alkaline phosphatase (47%), hyperbilirubinemia (39%), increased ALT (34%)


Very common (10% or more): Increased CPK (43%), myalgia/musculoskeletal pain (29%), back pain (12%), back pain (12%)


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue/asthenia (26%), edema (e.g., peripheral edema, edema, eyelid edema, localized edema, face edema) (22%)


Very common (10% or more): Hyperglycemia (36%), hypocalcemia (32%), hypokalemia (29%), hypophosphatemia (21%), hyponatremia (20%), increased weight (11%)


Very common (10% or more): Constipation (34%), nausea (18%), diarrhea (16%), vomiting (12%)


Very common (10% or more): Increased creatinine (e.g., increased blood creatinine, creatinine renal clearance decreased, glomerular filtration rate decreased, acute kidney injury) (28%)


Very common (10% or more): Rash (e.g., acneiform dermatitis, erythema, and different types of rash [macular, papular, maculopapular, generalized, and pruritic]) (15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Photosensitivity

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (17%)

Common (1% to 10%): Dysgeusia/hypogeusia


Very common (10% or more): Cough (19%), dyspnea (16%)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Interstitial lung disease


Very common (10% or more): Vision disorder (e.g., blurred vision, vitreous floaters, visual impairment, reduced visual acuity, asthenopia, diplopia) (10%)


Very common (10% or more): Bradycardia (11%)

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Alecensa