Lung Cancer Home > Xalkori and Breastfeeding

Although it is unknown whether Xalkori (crizotinib) passes through human breast milk, this drug has the potential to cause dangerous side effects, such as problems with the lungs, liver, and heart. Due to these potential risks, the manufacturer of the drug recommends that women avoid breastfeeding during Xalkori treatment.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Xalkori?

Xalkori® (crizotinib) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of late-stage, non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. It generally grows slower than small cell lung cancer. Xalkori is unique because it is only approved for use in people who have an abnormal gene known as the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene. This gene causes cancer development and growth in a small group of people.
At this time, it is unknown if this medication passes through human breast milk. The manufacturer recommends women not breastfeed while taking Xalkori. If you are nursing or planning to start, talk with your healthcare provider before taking this medication.

More Information About Xalkori and Breastfeeding

No research has been done to see if Xalkori passes through breast milk. Therefore, it is unknown if the medication would harm a nursing infant. However, Xalkori is associated with serious side effects, including lung problems, liver problems, and heart problems. If the medication does pass through breast milk, there is a potential for these serious side effects in the nursing child. For this reason, it may be best to avoid breastfeeding during Xalkori treatment.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should discuss breastfeeding and Xalkori use with your healthcare provider. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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