Table of Contents > Drug > Erlotinib Print

Erlotinib

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Tarceva®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Tarceva®

    Uses
    • It is used to treat lung cancer.
    • It is used to treat pancreatic cancer.
    • Erlotinib harms cancer cells causing their death.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • Take on an empty stomach. Take 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

    Storage

    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • Sometimes drugs are not safe when you take them with certain other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the drugs you take.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to erlotinib or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
    • If you are breast-feeding.

    Precautions

    • If you are dehydrated, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have liver disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have had an ulcer or bleeding from your stomach or bowel, talk with your doctor.
    • If you are taking a blood thinner, have your blood work checked. Talk with your doctor.
    • Have your blood work checked. Talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Take good care of your teeth. See a dentist often.
    • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
    • Do not take antacids within 2 hours of this drug.
    • Talk with your doctor before using OTC drugs that are used to lower stomach acid (eg, Pepcid® AC, Prilosec OTC®).
    • Do not take St John's wort with this drug. This drug may not work as well.
    • Talk with your doctor before using products that have aspirin, blood thinners, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo, ibuprofen or like products, pain drugs, or vitamin E.
    • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
    • Avoid cigarette smoking.
    • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
    • Use an alcohol-free lotion or cream to help with pimple-like skin effects or dry skin.
    • Use birth control that you can trust to stop pregnancy while taking this drug and for at least 2 weeks after stopping the drug.

    Side Effects

    • Chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
    • Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing.
    • Feeling tired or weak.
    • Rash.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Loose stools (diarrhea).
    • Headache.
    • Belly pain.
    • Cough.
    • Eye irritation.
    • Skin irritation.
    • Harm to the lungs may rarely happen.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Very loose stools (diarrhea).
    • Any bruising or bleeding.
    • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
    • Not able to eat.
    • Cough that does not go away.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Not able to pass urine.
    • Sudden change in eyesight, eye pain, or irritation.
    • A big weight loss.
    • Very bad skin irritation.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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