Quick guide to Tarceva
Brand Name(s): Tarceva
Generic Name Erlotinib
What are Erlotinib tablets?
ERLOTINIB (Tarceva) targets a specific protein within cancer cells and stops the cancer cells from growing. Erlotinib is used to treat certain cancers including non-small cell lung cancer. This drug might be used to treat other cancers as well. Generic erlotinib tablets are not available.
What should my health care professional know before I receive Erlotinib?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
How should this medicine be used?
Take Erlotinib tablets by mouth on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
Take your missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that one, and skip your missed dose. Do not take extra or double doses.
What drug(s) may interact with Erlotinib?
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from receiving Erlotinib?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
What should I watch for while taking Erlotinib?
Visit your prescriber or health care professional for checks on your progress. You will need to have regular blood checks. The side effects of erlotinib may continue after your finish your treatment; report side effects promptly. If you experience severe or continuing diarrhea, nausea, decreased appetite, or vomiting, contact your health care provider.
Erlotinib has been associated with severe lung side effects. Contact your health care provider if your breathing gets worse and/or you develop any new symptoms, such as a cough.
There is a risk of birth defects if erlotinib is given during pregnancy. Women should not become pregnant while being treated with erlotinib. Adequate birth control methods should be used during erlotinib therapy, and for at least two weeks after stopping therapy. Consult with your health care provider regarding appropriate options for birth control.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 °C (59 and 86 °F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date on the label.
(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)