Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Acalabrutinib is used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia, small lymphocytic lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Take Acalabrutinib two times a day, approximately 12 hours apart.
  • You may take it with or without food.
  • Do not chew, open or break the capsule. Swallow the capsule whole.
  • Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have difficulty swallowing.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember if it is within 3 hours of the usual time. If more than 3 hours have passed, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose. 

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You or your partner is pregnant or planning to become pregnant
    • You should use effective birth control during treatment and for at least 1 week after stopping Acalabrutinib.
  • You have any recent or upcoming surgery planned
  • You are taking any other medications (e.g. blood thinners, stomach acid-reducing agents, medications for fits, anti-fungals, antibiotics etc), including over-the-counter (OTC) medications, supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies
  • You have any other medical conditions e.g. heart or liver problems, including hepatitis B

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Headache
    • Mild pain can be controlled by taking Paracetamol. Inform your doctor if your headache persists or it is not well controlled by Paracetamol.
  • Diarrhea
    • Drink at least two litres (eight cups) of fluids every day when you are having diarrhea.
    • Avoid milk, diary products, high fibre food or spicy food while you are having diarrhea.
  • Nausea
    • Take small frequent meals and avoid smells that precipitate nausea
  • Rash
    • Avoid too much exposure to the sun. Use sunscreen and covered clothing when you are out in the sun.
    • Apply moisturizer frequently.
    • Inform your doctor if the rashes are widespread or worsening.
  • Reduced white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets
    • This may put you at a higher risk of infections, bleeding or bruising, and feeling tired.
      • To reduce infection risks, practise good personal hygiene, avoid crowded places or people who are sick and avoid eating raw food.
      • To reduce bleeding and bruising, do not pick your nose and brush your teeth with a gentle toothbrush.
      • If you are tired, do not drive or operate machinery.
  • Muscle and joint aches
    • Mild aches can be relieved by taking Paracetamol. Inform your doctor if aches are not well controlled by Paracetamol.
    • Taking warm regular baths may also help to relieve aches.
  • Temporary increase in white blood cell
    • A short term increase in white blood cell count, especially of the lymphoma cells, is common and does not imply that your disease is worsening. This will usually gradually decrease over the course of a few months.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

  • Signs of infection - fever of 38° C and above, chills, cough, body aches, sore throat
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, black sticky stools or blood in urine
  • Fast or abnormal heartbeat, chest discomfort or very bad giddiness

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Avoid taking grapefruit when you are taking this medication as grapefruit may interact with Acalabrutinib and increases the risk of side-effects.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack Acalabrutinib into a bag and bring it back to the pharmacy where you received the medication from. 


If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Jan 2022

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