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Drugs reference index «Erlotinib»



Generic Name: Erlotinib (er-LOE-ti-nib)Brand Name: Tarceva

Erlotinib is used for:

Treating certain types of advanced lung cancer after at least one trial of chemotherapy has failed.

Erlotinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. It works by blocking growth stimulatory signals in cancer cells, which helps stop cancer cells from growing.

Do NOT use Erlotinib if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Erlotinib

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Erlotinib :

Some medical conditions may interact with Erlotinib . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have had radiation therapy or chemotherapy
  • if you have liver problems, previous stomach bleeding, or have or have a history of lung problems (eg, lung disease or lung infection)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Erlotinib . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Atazanavir, azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics (eg, clarithromycin), HIV protease inhibitors (eg, indinavir), nefazodone, verapamil, or certain other medicines that act on the liver because they may increase the actions and the risk of Erlotinib 's side effects
  • Carbamazepine, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), phenobarbital, rifamycins (eg, rifampin), or St. John's wort because they may decrease Erlotinib 's effectiveness
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of bleeding may be increased by Erlotinib

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Erlotinib may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Erlotinib :

Use Erlotinib as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Erlotinib by mouth on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
  • Wash your hands immediately after taking Erlotinib .
  • Take Erlotinib on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Taking Erlotinib at the same time each day will help you to remember to take it.
  • If you miss a dose of Erlotinib , contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Erlotinib .

Important safety information:

  • If you experience moderate to severe diarrhea or a severe skin reaction, tell your doctor right away. Your doctor may need to reduce your dose or interrupt treatment. Do not treat diarrhea with nonprescription medicines.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Erlotinib before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Lab tests, including liver and kidney function, lung function, and blood electrolytes, may be performed while you use Erlotinib . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Erlotinib with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Erlotinib should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use Erlotinib if you are pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. If you are able to become pregnant, use effective birth control while you are taking Erlotinib and for at least 2 weeks after treatment is complete. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about effective methods of birth control. It is not known if Erlotinib is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Erlotinib .

Possible side effects of Erlotinib :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dry skin; fatigue; infection; itching; loss of appetite; mouth ulcers and inflammation; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; chest pain; cough; dark urine; decreased urine; dry eyes; eye irritation, redness, or discharge; fever; one-sided weakness; pale stools; severe or persistent diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, stomach pain, or vomiting; shortness of breath; slurred speech; sore throat; swelling of the hands, legs, or feet; unusual bruising or bleeding; vision problems; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center ( http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include diarrhea; rash.

Proper storage of Erlotinib :

Store Erlotinib at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Erlotinib out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Erlotinib , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Erlotinib is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Erlotinib . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • Erlotinib Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • erlotinib Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Tarceva Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Tarceva Consumer Overview

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