Tarceva (Erlotinib Hydrochloride) is a non-chemotherapy drug for the treatment of lung cancer. It is used in the treatment of recurrent NSCLC. It is approved for patients with advanced-stage NSCLC whose cancer has spread or grown after receiving chemotherapy regimen. It is also used either before or after chemotherapy for people with specific change in EGFR protein.
How it works?
It provides the overall survival and quality of life in patients suffering from NSCLC. The advances in the treatment of cancer have shown that they can help to slow down the growth of cancer cells in the patient. It is a targeted therapy used in the treatment of people with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. It only works in lung cancer that features EGFR protein present on the cancer cells. It works to turn off the signals that encourage the growth of cancer cells.
The possible side effects of Tarceva include:
- Lung problems: It may cause lung problems like shortness of breath, cough, fever etc.
- Stomach problems: Tarceva may cause intestinal problems like gastrointestinal perforation. You should inform your doctor if you have history of any stomach disease.
- Eye Issues: It may cause dry issues or swelling of cornea. You may feel irritation in the eye.
- Liver Problems: Tarceva has shown to cause kidney and liver problems.
- Skin Reaction: It may cause skin pain or red skin rash that spreads to the face or upper body.
- Weakness: The medication may cause weakness or tired feeling to the patient.
- This is not a comprehensive list of the side effects and others may occur.
Precautions to be taken
You should not take Tarceva if you are pregnant as it could harm your unborn baby. Also, you should not breast-feed while taking it. The normal dosage is generally one tablet once a day. It should be taken on empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after eating.
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The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice.