: You may experience many different side effects while receiving this treatment. Be aware of some of the most
common symptoms so that if you do experience any side effects, you will recognize them and be able to contact your
physician right away.
This drug may cause serious allergic reactions in some rare cases. If you experience dizziness, difficulty
breathing, itching and swelling in facial areas, or rashes; you should contact your doctor immediately as these are
signs or a potentially several allergy. You may also be more sensitive to infections while on this drug. Some side
effects of an infection include a persistent or severe sore throat, a fever, and chills. If you experience any
combination of these symptoms you should also contact your doctor. You may also experience diarrhea and vomiting
accompanied by blackened stools or dark vomit, which can be signs of severe side effects that you should also call
your doctor about. You should also call your physician if you experience a loss of appetite, dehydration, abdominal
pain, dry skin, eye irritation, excessive fatigue, dark urine, or yellowing of your eyes or
There are many more symptoms that you might experience, so contact your doctor about any changes in your
Tarceva is a very powerful drug that is used to combat lung cancer in patients who have not responded to other
The medication is also used to treat locally advanced, unresectable or metastatic
pancreatic cancer in combination with gemcitabine (Gemzar). This drug is designed to slow down the
growth of cancer cells.
comes as a tablet to take by mouth.
This medicine is swallowed and should be taken on an empty stomach for maximum efficiency. Take this medicine two
hours after eating, and wait another full hour before you eat another meal. Your doctor may give you more specific
instructions that are unique to your situation. This medication should be taken every day, usually just once, and
it should be taken at the same time each day.
Do not take antacid medicines or anything containing grapefruit while using this medication.
Try to avoid getting an infection as well as any cuts or bruise, as Tarceva can worsen the effects of infections,
bleeding, and bruising. Use caution with sharp objects and wash your hands frequently. Contact your doctor right
away if you experience an infection or bleeding.
Overdose: overdosing this drug can cost you
your life. The risk of complication increases considerably when the drug is overdosed for a long period of time.
Even in the absence of overdose, Tarceva tends to damage the bone marrow, and lead to serious decreased blood
cells count. It is extremely important that you take Tarceva as indicated by your physician or pharmacist; don’t
ever take it more or more often.
misusing Tarceva is a
serious matter. Taking less can decrease the therapeutic effects of the drug; taking more can lead to serious
health problems and even death. Do your best to take it around the same time every day; do not miss or take
less of it.
In case you forget to
take a dose, take the missed one as soon as you remember it. However, if it is time for your next dose,
do not double it to recover the missed one. Contact your doctor or wait to go back to your regular
Tarceva should be kept
tightly closed in the container it came, out of the reach of children. The drug must be stored
at room temperature, away from heat, light and moisture. Tarceva
and all other medications should not be used beyond the expiration date printed on the container.
Mechanism of action (MOA):
Tarceva is a kinase inhibitor; it prevents the development and selectively induces death of cancer cells by
blocking the action of protein-tyrosine kinase, an abnormal protein that signals cancer cells to multiply.
: Tell your doctor about your medical history before you proceed with therapy. You should especially be aware of
any history of stomach or intestinal diseases, liver problems, or kidney problems. You should also not be pregnant,
become pregnant, or breast-fee while undergoing treatment with this medication.
Interactions: It is recommended to all
patients to first contact
their physician before consuming grapefruit, aspirin, vitamins, nutritional
supplements, or St. John's wort. Certain substances can interact with tarceva, and increase the risk of the
development of side effects.
Tell your doctor or
pharmacist if you are taking any of these medications:
(Prednisone, and others)
antagonists (Diltiazem, verapamil, and others)
antibiotics (Erythromycin, clarithromycin, and others)
(Phenytoin, carbamazepine, and others)
(Ketoconazole, fluconazole, and others)
drugs ( Ritonavir, indinavir, efavirenz, and others)
- barbiturates (Phenobarbital)
(Ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, and others).
Tarceva also interferes with certain normal cells, and cause a number of adverse effects in most patients;
common Tarceva side effects include:
nausea and vomiting
sores on your lips or mouth
change in taste
darkening of skin
muscle or limb pain
of the nail
pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
Swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
You may need to immediately contact your health care provider if you experience any of these
- sunken eyes, scarring or abnormal eyelash
painful or decreased urination
blood in urine or stool
difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
blistering, peeling, dry, or cracked skin
itching and/or burning of the skin
skin rash on the face, upper chest, or back
Signs of infections: persistent cough, fever, chills, etc.
- dry, red, painful, or irritated eyes
pain in the arms, neck, or upper back
rapid, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
unusual bruising or bleeding
black and tarry or bloody stools
bloody or coffee-like vomit
Redness, warmth, pain, tenderness, or swelling in one leg