Crizotinib, an inhibitor of the hepatocyte growth factor receptor oncogene, has been studied extensively regarding its antitumor and clinically beneficial effects in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, crizotinib's effects on cancer cell energy metabolism, which is linked with tumor proliferation and migration, in NSCLC are unclear. Therefore, the present study focused on crizotinib's effect on NSCLC glucose metabolism. Crizotinib's effects on glucose metabolism, proliferation, migration and apoptosis in A549 cells were explored. Several other inhibitors, including 2-DG, rotenone and MG132, were used to define the mechanism of action in further detail. Data showed that crizotinib treatment reduced A549 cell viability, increased glucose consumption and lactate production, while decreased mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Δψm) and ATP production. Crizotinib treatment, combined with rotenone and MG132 treatment, further inhibited ATP production and Δψm and increased reactive oxygen species content. However, crizotinib did not suppress cell proliferation, migration, ATP production, Δψm or mitochondrial-related apoptosis signals further following 2-DG-mediated inhibition of glycolysis. These results indicated that crizotinib induced low mitochondrial function and compensatory high anaerobic metabolism, but failed to maintain sufficient ATP levels. The alternation of metabolic pattern and insufficient ATP supply may serve important roles in the metabolic antitumor mechanism of crizotinib in A549 cells.