Trade Name: Tecentriq
Atezolizumab is the generic name for the trade drug name Tecentriq.
In some cases, health care professionals may use the generic name
atezolizumab when referring to the trade drug name Tecentriq.
: Atezolizumab is an Anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody.
(For more detail, see "How this drug works," below).
What Atezolizumab Is Used For :
For the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic
urothelial carcinoma who:
- Have disease progression during or following platinum-containing
- Have disease progression within 12 months of neoadjuvant or
adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy.
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to
use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.
How Atezolizumab Is Given :
Important things to remember about the side effects of atezolizumab:
- Atezolizumab is given as an intravenous injection through a vein
(IV) over 60 minutes for the first infusion, and if no infusion
reaction, over 30 minutes for each infusion thereafter.
- Treatment cycles are every 3 weeks (21 days)
- You may receive medications before the infusion to reduce
The following side effects have been observed commonly for patients
taking atezolizumab but may NOT be related to atezolizumab:
These side effects have been observed less commonly of patients
receiving atezolizumab but may NOT be related to atezolizumab:
- Most people do not experience all of the side effects listed.
- Observed side effects below may NOT be related to atezolizumab.
- Side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset and
- Immune-related side effects can occur weeks or months after
discontinuation of treatment.
- There are many options to help manage and prevent worsening of
- There is no relationship between the presence or severity of side
effects and the effectiveness of the medication.
- Decreased appetite
- Urinary tract or other infection
- Colitis (bowel inflammation)
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath and/or cough and/or wheezing
- Neck pain/back pain
- Rash and/or itching
- Hematuria (blood in the urine)
- Arthralgia (joint pain)
- Hyponatremia (low sodium level)
- Thyroid changes
- Autoimmune reactions* and infusion reactions
*A rare but possible side effect of this class of drug is the trigger of
an auto-immune reaction. This can happen at any time when taking this
drug, and/or after stopping the drug. The immune system may go after
normal cells in the body, e.g. lungs, skin, intestines, endocrine
system, liver, pancreas, eyes, etc. Symptoms and signs of this reaction
will be closely monitored throughout treatment (e.g. cough, shortness of
breath, wheezing, rash, diarrhea/blood in stool, fatigue/weakness,
visual changes, etc.). Lab work will also be used to check for elevated
liver enzymes, kidney thyroid function, electrolytes, glucose, and blood
counts. Contact your health care provider right away if you have any new
or worsening symptoms. Not all potential side effects are listed above.
Some of those that are more rare are not listed here. However, you
should always inform your health care provider if you experience any
unusual symptoms or changes.
When To Contact Your Doctor Or Health Care Provider :
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you
should experience any of the following symptoms (may NOT be related to
The following symptoms require urgent medical attention, but might
not usually be an emergency. Contact your doctor or health care provider
within 24 hours of noticing any of the following (may NOT be related to
- Fever of 100.4° (e.g. 38° C) or higher, chills, flank
pain, cloudy or foul smelling urine, or other acute changes and/or
signs of infection
- Signs of reaction to the drug (e.g. wheezing, chest
tightness/pain, shortness of breath, cough, rash, itching, swelling
of the face, lips, tongue, or throat)
- Persistent or unusual headache, extreme generalized or focal
weakness, dizziness/lightheadedness or fainting, stiff neck, new
severe numbness, or vision changes.
- Blood in stool, very dark stool, light colored stool, yellow
skin/eyes/tongue, dark urine, unusual swelling of one of your
legs/arms, bleeding, severe pain, or other acute changes.
- Unable to eat or drink for 24 hours or have signs of dehydration,
e.g. tiredness, thirst, dry mouth/skin, dark and decrease amount of
urine, or dizziness
- Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with
prescribed medication), decrease appetite
- Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
- Diarrhea, abdominal or back pain, especially right side
- Extreme fatigue that impairs your normal activities of daily
- Significant change in weight
- Change in mood or personality, feeling confused
- Deeper voice, feeling cold or hair loss
- Numbness or tingling in hands or feet, very bad muscle weakness
- Bleed or bruise more easily than normal
- Signs of infection: cough, frequent or painful urination,
flu-like or other symptoms/signs
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual
symptoms or changes.
Self-Care Tips (both general and related to atezolizumab):
- Before starting atezolizumab treatment, make sure you tell your
doctor about any allergies, and other medications you are taking
(including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal
remedies, etc.) and your complete past medical, surgical, family and
- Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without
your doctor's approval while taking atezolizumab, e.g. it is OK to
get inactivated/killed vaccines (flu vaccine), but not live vaccine
(do not get flu-mist).
- Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may
be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. Atezolizumab may be
hazardous to the fetus. Adverse events were observed in animal
reproduction studies. Women who are pregnant or become pregnant must
be advised of the potential hazard to the fetus.
- For both men and women: Do not conceive a child (get pregnant)
while taking atezolizumab. Barrier methods of contraception, such as
condoms, are recommended during treatment. Women of child-bearing
age should use effective contraception during therapy and for at
least 5 months following treatment. Discuss with your doctor when
you may safely become pregnant or conceive a child after therapy.
- Do not breast feed while taking this medication. Due to the
potential for serious adverse reactions in the nursing infant,
breast-feeding is not recommended during therapy or for at least 5
months after the last dose.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor.
This drug might rarely raise blood sugar.
- Inform your doctor before starting treatment, especially if you
have any history of autoimmune disease (e.g. psoriasis, rheumatoid
arthritis, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, or any other),
inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. ulcerative colitis, Crohn's
disease, etc.), interstitial pneumonitis (e.g. chronic lung
inflammation), hepatitis B or C, HIV, if you are getting steroids or
other medications that suppress your immune system, and your recent
- If you go to any other health care provider or the Emergency
Room, please let the provider know that you are taking this (or took
it in the past) so they should take it into account for your
management/plan of care.
Monitoring and Testing While Taking Atezolizumab :
- Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours,
unless you are instructed otherwise.
- If you should experience nausea, take anti-nausea medications as
prescribed by your doctor, and eat small frequent meals. Sucking on
lozenges and chewing gum may also help.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 30 (or higher) sun block and
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a
minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your
- Use an electric razor to minimize bleeding.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition.
- Wash your hands often.
- You may be at risk for infection, report fever or any other signs
of infection immediately to your healthcare provider. Try to avoid
crowds or people with colds, and report fever or any other signs of
infection immediately to your healthcare provider.
- Discuss with your health care provider before taking any other
medications including over the counter and herbal preparations.
- If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss
them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications
and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such
You will be checked regularly by your health care professional while you
are taking atezolizumab, to monitor side effects and check your response
How Atezolizumab Works :
Atezolizumab is classified as a monoclonal antibody. Monoclonal
antibodies are a relatively new type of "targeted" cancer
therapy (against a specific "target"). Antibodies are an
integral part of the body's immune system. Normally, the body creates
antibodies in response to an antigen (such as a protein in a germ) that
has entered the body. The immune system utilizes activators/stimulators
(accelerators) and checkpoints (breaks) to maintain the balance. One of
those checkpoints is the interaction between two proteins, called PD-L1
and PD-1, that can cause suppression of the immune system and thus
diminished attack against cancer cells. Both cancer cells and immune
system cells can may over-express on their surface PD-L1, and this can
reduce the attack of the immune system against cancer cells.
Atezolizumab is a monoclonal antibody that attaches to PD-L1 and blocks
its checkpoint function, thus unleashing the brake on the
immune system, to attack cancer cells
We encourage you to talk with your health care
professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The
information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and
educational, but is not at all a substitute for medical advice, and
cannot cover all individual specific circumstances.