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Atezolizumab (By injection)

Atezolizumab (a-te-zoe-LIZ-ue-mab)

Treats bladder cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer (including non-small and small lung cancer).

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to atezolizumab, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein. It must be given slowly, so the needle will have to remain in place for at least 30 to 60 minutes every 2, 3, or 4 weeks.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control during treatment with this medicine and for at least 5 months after your last dose.
  • Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine and for at least 5 months after the last dose.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, breathing or lung problems, diabetes, immune system problems (including Crohn disease, ulcerative colitis, lupus), nervous system problems (including myasthenia gravis), or any type of infection. Tell your doctor if you have had an organ transplant.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Severe inflammation, including pneumonitis (lungs), colitis (bowels), hepatitis (liver), pancreatitis (pancreas), encephalitis (around the brain), uveitis (eyes), or myocarditis (heart)
    • Thyroid problems or similar problems with other body systems (including the nervous system)
    • Serious skin reactions
    • Increased risk of infections (including pneumonia, sepsis), which may be life-threatening
    • Infusion reaction
  • This medicine could cause infertility in women. Talk with your doctor before receiving this medicine if you plan to have children.
  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Blurred vision, changes in vision, eye pain
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate, increased hunger or thirst
  • Confusion, seizures, stiff neck, headache, fever, sleepiness, numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Cough, fast heartbeat, chest tightness or pain, trouble breathing
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Diarrhea that may contain blood, severe stomach pain
  • Fever, chills, trouble breathing, dizziness, or skin rash while receiving the infusion
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, lightheadedness
  • Weakness, headache, tiredness, weight changes, feeling cold, or changes in mood or behavior

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Back, neck, joint, or muscle pain
  • Constipation
  • Hair loss
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

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