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Crizotinib (Xalkori)

How does this medicine work?

Crizotinib (Kriz-OH-ti-nib) is a cancer medicine known as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. It works by destroying or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

How is the medicine given?

Crizotinib is a capsule taken by mouth. This medication should be taken at the same time each day with or without food. Do not crush, dissolve or open capsules. Doses should NOT be repeated if vomiting occurs after the dose. Missed doses should be made up unless the next dose is due within 6 hours.  

What are the side effects?


  • Fatigue
  • Vision changes
  • Swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation or diarrhea


  • Low blood counts
  • Cough
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Liver or kidney changes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Tingling, weakness or pain in muscles


  • Changes in heart rhythm
  • Blood clots

When should I call the clinic?

Call the clinic if:

  • Fever, chills
  • Bleeding, unusual bruising
  • Arm or leg swelling
  • Cough, shortness of breath, sore throat
  • Signs of an allergic reaction:

            - rash or hives

            - wheezing

            - trouble breathing - call 911

What else do I need to know?

If you are sexually active, pregnant, could become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, DO NOT take or administer Crizotinib without checking with your health care provider first.

You or your child will have regular blood tests while receiving this medication. This is to make sure all of the body’s organs are working properly. You will also have electrocardiograms done while on this medication.

Store all medicines in their original container and away from direct sunlight or heat. Do not store in humid places such as the bathroom. Keep them out of children’s reach, locked up if possible.

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child’s care.

Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medication. Talk to your provider before starting any new over the counter medications or supplements.

If too much OR the wrong medicine is taken, call the oncology clinic right away. If your child is unconscious or has a seizure, call 911.


This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the oncology clinic or pharmacy.

Reviewed by Hem/Onc 12/2016

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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