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Name of the generic: erlotiniber-LOE-ti-nib er-LOE’ti’niber-LOE-tinib”
Drug class: EGFR inhibitors

It is believed that the Tarceva brand name was removed within the U.S. If the generic version is accepted by the FDA, There may be similar generic versions available.

What is Tarceva?

Tarceva is a medicine for treating cancer that blocks the proliferation of cancerous cells. It also slows the spread of cancer throughout the body. Tarceva can be used to treat non-small cell lung cancer as well as pancreatic cancer that has spread to different parts of the human organs (metastatic). Tarceva is generally prescribed after other chemotherapy drugs have not worked.


Avoid taking Tarceva if you are expecting. The drug could cause harm to the child that is not yet born. Utilise effective birth control during the time you take this medicine and for at least 1 month following the last dose. Before you take Tarceva, inform your physician whether you suffer from lung issues (other than lung cancer), liver or kidney diseases, are dehydrated, or smoke.

To ensure that Tarceva will help your illness and does not have harmful side effects, it is necessary for your blood to be regularly tested. It will allow your doctor to determine the duration of treatment for the patient with this medication. Visit your doctor regularly. Do not expose yourself to direct sunlight or a tanning bed. Erlotinib may cause skin rashes, dryness, itchiness, or any other irritation. Protect yourself with protective clothing and apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater) whenever you go out in the sun. Beware of skin care products that may cause dryness or irritation.

Stop using Tarceva and consult your physician immediately if you experience any new or aggravated lung conditions (chest discomfort, dry cough, wheezing, fever, or being short of breath). Chest pain that spreads into the shoulder or arm; abrupt numbness, weakness, or tingling eyes; irritation or pain; fast weight gain; not urinating as often or none at all; persistent or severe diarrhoea; vomiting that causes bloody stools and bloody stool; pale skin; simple bleeding or bruises; mouth ulcers; or the appearance of a severe itchy rash on your skin.

Be sure to follow all the directions printed on your prescription label and on the label of your package. Be sure to inform your health care providers about your health conditions, allergies, and medications you take.

Prior to taking this medication

Do not use Tarceva if you're allergic to the drug erlotinib. To be sure Tarceva is suitable for you, tell your doctor that you've had:

  • Respiratory or lung problems (other than the possibility of lung cancer);
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Stomach bleeding;
  • Eye problems;
  • If you are dehydrated;
  • If you smoke; or
  • If you are also taking warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven).

Don't take Tarceva when you are expecting. Erlotinib could harm unborn babies. Make sure you use effective birth control when you're taking this drug and at least for a month following the last dose. Avoid breastfeeding while taking this medication and for two weeks at the minimum following the last dose.

How to take Tarceva?

You should take Tarceva according to the instructions of your physician. Be sure to follow the directions on the prescription label. Also, go through all the medication manuals or instructions. The doctor might change the dosage of your medication. Take Tarceva with a full stomach for at least an hour prior to or two hours following eating.

If you experience diarrhoea after taking Tarceva, start taking anti-diarrhoea medication like Loperamide (Imodium) for quick relief of diarrhoea. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and consult your physician if you experience extreme diarrhoea. It is possible that you will require frequent health tests to make sure this medication does not cause adverse consequences. Treatment for cancer may be delayed based on outcomes. Place it in a cool, dry place free of heat and moisture.

Details on dosage

Usual Adult Dose for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer:

150 mg once orally, every day with an empty stomach (at least one hour prior to or two hours after eating).
Duration of treatment: up until the disease progresses or there is unacceptable toxicity.

Utilisation: In patients suffering from metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with tumours that have epidermal factor receptor (EGFR) deletions of exon 19 (L858R) or exon 21 (L858R) substitutions, receiving the first-line or maintenance treatment or a higher or lower line of treatment for progression after having at least one previous chemotherapy treatment

Usual Adult Dose for Pancreatic Cancer:

100 mg once orally, every day with empty stomachs (at least one hour prior to or two hours following food).
The duration of therapy ends when it is no longer effective or causes unacceptable toxicity.

Utilisation: As a first-line treatment for patients suffering from localised advanced, non-resectable, or metastatic pancreatic cancer. In conjunction with gemcitabine

What happens if I miss a dose?

Do the medication on an empty stomach whenever you can. However, do not take the missed dose when it's almost time to take your next dose. Don't take more than two doses in one go.

What happens if I overdose?

Get medical assistance in an emergency or dial toll-free the Poison Helpline at 1-800-222-1222. The symptoms of an overdose can be severe diarrhoea or itchy skin.

Avoid this

Do not have the habit of smoking. This can make Tarceva less effective. Grapefruit could be in contact with erlotinib, which can cause unwanted side effects. Beware of using products made from grapefruit. Be sure to avoid taking an antacid within a few hours of or after taking Tarceva. Consult a physician or pharmacist prior to taking any medication to lower stomach acid. This includes cimetidine (Tagamet). Beware of taking herbal supplements with St. John's wort.

Beware of exposure to the sun or sunbeds. Erlotinib may cause skin rashes, dryness, itchiness, or any other irritation. Use protective clothing and sunblock (SPF 30 or greater) whenever you're outside. Do not use products on your skin that can lead to dryness or irritation. Examples include acne medication, harsh soaps, and skin cleanser, as well as skincare products containing alcohol.

Side effects of Tarceva

Seek medical attention immediately in the event that you exhibit indications that you are experiencing an allergic reaction (hives or breathing problems, and swelling of your throat or face) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, itching, or an alopecia (red or purple) that blisters and peels).

Stop taking Tarceva and contact your doctor promptly if you are suffering from:

  • A sudden discomfort or pain in the chest that causes wheezing, a dry cough, and feeling short of breath.
  • Extreme stomach discomfort, chills, fever, bleeding blood, and coughing it up;
  • Severe ongoing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea;
  • Eyes, irritation, or eye pain issues with vision
  • Symptoms of heart attacks Heart attack symptoms chest pressure or discomfort, pain that is spreading to your jaw or your shoulder, nausea or sweating,
  • Symptoms of stroke the sudden feeling of weakness or numbness (especially in one part or the other) or a sudden, severe headache or slurred speech, difficulties with vision or balance, and
  • Problems with the liver or kidneys issues with the liver or kidneys; very little or no urine; swelling; rapid weight increase (especially around the midsection and face); nausea, vomiting, dark urine, and jaundice (yellowing on the eye or skin).

Erlotinib can cause an increase in the growth of hair in your body. It can also cause weak, dry nails on your fingers and toes.

Common Tarceva negative side effects can comprise

  • Diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing or coughing;
  • The rash or
  • Feeling tired or weak.

This is not an exhaustive list of possible side effects, and there are other possible side effects. Contact your doctor to seek medical advice on adverse effects. It is possible to report any side effects to the FDA by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

Interaction with other drugs

Numerous drugs may interact with Erlotinib. Many drugs can interact with It is the case for prescription as well as over-the-counter medicine, vitamins, and natural products. The interactions of all drugs aren't mentioned here. Discuss with your doctor the current medications you are taking as well as all medicines you are about to start or stop taking.