What is this medicine?
ERLOTINIB (er LOE ti nib) is a medicine that targets proteins in cancer cells and stops the cancer cells from growing. It is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer.
How should I use this medicine?
Take erlotinib tablets by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food. Do not take with food. Do not take with grapefruit juice. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
signs and symptoms of bleeding such as bloody or black, tarry stools; red or dark-brown urine; spitting up blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds; red spots on the skin; unusual bruising or bleeding from the eye, gums, or nose
signs and symptoms of kidney injury like trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
signs and symptoms of a stroke like changes in vision; confusion; trouble speaking or understanding; severe headaches; sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg; trouble walking; dizziness; loss of balance or coordination
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
loss of appetite
weak or tired
What may interact with this medicine?
This medicine may interact with the following medications:
antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
certain antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin
certain medicines for fungal infections like itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, or voriconazole
certain medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
certain medicines for stomach problems like cimetidine, famotidine, omeprazole, lansoprazole
certain medicines for tuberculosis like rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine
certain medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin
St. John's Wort
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take extra or double doses.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
eye disease, vision problems
lung or breathing disease, like asthma
stomach or intestine problems
an unusual or allergic reaction to erlotinib, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
Visit your doctor for regular check ups. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment unless your doctor tells you to stop. You will need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
Tell your doctor or health care professional right away if you have any change in your eyesight.
Check with your doctor or health care professional if you get an attack of severe diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, or if you sweat a lot. The loss of too much body fluid can make it dangerous for you to take this medicine.
If you smoke cigarettes, you should stop smoking. The effectiveness of this drug is reduced by cigarette smoking. If you stop smoking during treatment, be sure to inform your doctor of this change.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine or for 1 month after stopping it. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine or for 2 weeks after stopping it.
March 16, 2018