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Tarceva (erlotinib) is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their spread in the body.
Tarceva is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer or pancreatic cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic).
Tarceva is usually given after other cancer medicines have been tried without success.
Before taking this medicineYou should not take Tarceva if you are allergic to erlotinib.
To make sure Tarceva is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
lung or breathing problems (other than lung cancer);kidney disease;liver disease;a history of stomach bleeding;eye problems;if you are dehydrated;if you smoke; orif you also take warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven).
Do not take Tarceva if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control while you are taking this medication and for at least 2 weeks after your treatment ends.
It is not known whether erlotinib passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while taking Tarceva.
Usual Adult Dose for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer:
150 mg orally once a day
Duration of therapy: Until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity
Comments:-There is no evidence that treatment beyond disease progression is beneficial.
Uses:-First-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 19 deletions or exon 21 (L858R) substitution mutations.-Maintenance treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC whose disease has not progressed after four cycles of platinum-based first-line chemotherapy.-Treatment of locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC after failure of at least one prior chemotherapy regimen.
Usual Adult Dose for Pancreatic Cancer:
100 mg orally once a day
Use: First-line treatment of patients with locally advanced, unresectable or metastatic pancreatic cancer, in combination with gemcitabine
What are the precautions when taking erlotinib (Tarceva)?
Before taking erlotinib, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney problems, stomach/intestinal disease (such as ulcers, diverticulosis).
Use caution with sharp objects like safety razors or nail cutters and avoid activities such as contact sports to lower the chance of getting cut, bruised or injured.
This medicine may increase your risk of stomach bleeding. Limit alcoholic beverages.