What is this medication?
Antineoplastic Agent, Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Inhibitor, Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor
Erlotinib, Tarceva is indicated for treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer; pancreatic cancer, locally advanced, unresectable or metastatic.
How does this medication work?
Erlotinib, Tarceva is a reversible overall Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGRF) Inhibitor in addition to inhibiting tyrosine kinase autophosphorylation and thus blocking the activity of downstream signalling pathways related to growth and apoptosis suppression. Erlotinib has higher binding affinity for EGFR exon 19 deletion or exon 21 (L858R) mutations than for the wild type receptor.
How should I take this medication?
Oral: 100-150mg once daily.
How to Take: The manufacturer recommends administration on an empty stomach (≥1 hour before or 2 hours after the ingestion of food). If taken with an H2-receptor antagonist, administer erlotinib 10 hours after the H2-receptor antagonist dose and ≥2 hours prior to the next H2-receptor dose. If an antacid is necessary, separate dosing by several hours.
You Need to Avoid: Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice. Avoid concomitant use with proton pump inhibitors (if possible).
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Erlotinib, Tarceva make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take. It is important that your doctor carefully monitor you for cardiovascular toxicity (i.e. left ventricular ejection fraction); signs of dermatologic toxicity (i.e. acneiform rash, erythema, rash); GI toxicity; hepatotoxicity (i.e. elevated liver enzymes); ocular toxicity; pulmonary toxicity (i.e. interstitial lung disease). In addition, Erlotinib, Tarceva should be used with caution in patients with hepatic and renal impairment.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Skin rash, paronychia, xeroderma, pruritus, acne vulgaris, chest pain, fatigue, cough, dyspnea, conjunctivitis, weakness, back pain, arthralgia, musculoskeletal pain, increased rate of infection, anemia, urinary tract infection, fever, diarrhea, anorexia, nausea, decreased appetite, vomiting, mucositis, stomatitis, abdominal pain, constipation
Note this is not a complete list of side effects for Erlotinib, Tarceva only common ones.
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