Acalabrutinib (Calquence) (The James)

Taking Your Treatment Home

What you need to know about your Anti-Cancer Medicine


Acalabrutinib (Calquence)

Here is important information on how to use, handle, and store your medicine, what side effects to look for and how to manage them. If you have questions about this medicine, call your doctor.


What it looks like: 100 mg capsule (oblong; blue-yellow)


How to handle and store:

  • Store in a closed container in a dry place such as a cabinet away from light, heat, and moisture.
  • Store at room temperature. Do not store in your bathroom or refrigerator.
  • Keep this medicine away from children and do not share it with anyone.


How to take:

  • Take this medicine 2 times each day, about 12 hours apart.
  • Take medicine at the same time each day with a full glass of water.
  • You can take this medicine with or without food.
  • Do not take more capsules than ordered.
  • Do not crush, break, chew, or open the capsules.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice. This can increase your risk of side effects.
  • Do not take within 2 hours of taking an antacid (TUMS, Alka-Seltzer, Gaviscon, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids).
  • If you take acid reducers like famotidine (Pepcid) or ranitidine (Zantac), take it 2 hours after this medicine.
  • Do not take proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole (Prilosec) or esomeprazole (Nexium) with this medicine.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is more than 3 hours past your normal time to take the medicine, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at its regularly scheduled time. Do not double up on doses.



  • Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to get rid of prescription medicines safely.



  • Tell your doctor if you have had a recent surgery, trauma or infection.
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medicines you are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal products
  • Do not get pregnant while on this medicine. Talk with your doctor about what birth control to use.
  • Do not breastfeed while taking this medicine and for 2 weeks after your final dose.
  • Do not take St John’s Wort.


Possible Side Effects

You can find more information on side effects in the Patient Education booklet, Treatment with Chemotherapy and Anti-Cancer Medicines.


Bleeding/Bruising/Black Stools

What to do:

  • Call your doctor if you bruise more easily, if your stools are black or tarry, or if you have other unusual bleeding such as bright red blood in stools or nose bleeds that do not stop.
  • Call your doctor if you have sudden or severe stomach pain.
  • Do not use aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) for regular aches and pains.


Changes in White Blood Cells

What this means: You may be at risk of getting an infection if your white blood cells drop low. You may also have a temporary increase in your white blood cells while on this medicine.

What to do:

  • Call your doctor if you have a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher.
  • Wash or clean your hands often.
  • Stay away from people who have colds or do not feel well.
  • Ask your doctor if you should get a flu shot or pneumococcal vaccine.



What this means: Fatigue or extreme weakness can happen due to low blood counts, stress, pain and changes in your sleep or diet.

What to do:

  • Eat small meals often during the day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Be active, but plan times to rest.



What this means: You may develop a rash in one area or over large areas of your skin.

What to do:

  • Call your doctor if you get a rash. Your doctor will ask you when the rash started, the location, if it is itchy or painful and if it has spread or is getting worse.
  • Your doctor may have you take an over-the-counter medicine to help with this problem.


Changes in Bowel Movements

What to do:

  • Call your doctor if you have diarrhea more than 4 times a day or for more than 1 or 2 days or if you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
  • Call your doctor for constipation if you do not have a bowel movement for 2 days or become uncomfortable because you are unable to have a bowel movement.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.


Muscle Pain

What to do:

  • Talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter pain medicine.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Get enough rest.
  • Call your doctor if the muscle pain keeps you from doing your normal daily activities.


This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Tell your doctor if you have these or any other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine. Your health care team will give you further help to manage side effects.



© 4/23/2018. The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

This handout is for informational purposes only. Talk with your doctor or health care team if you have any questions about your care.

For more health information, call the Patient and Family Resource Center at 614-366-0602 or visit