Tarceva(Erlotinib Hydrochloride, Erlotinib)
What is a generic medication?
Generic medications are significantly discounted copies of brand name medication that have the same active ingredients, intended use, dosage, side effects, effects, and route of administration as the original brand name medication. In other words, generic medications have the same pharmacological effects as their brand-name counterparts. Over half of all prescribed medications are for generic medications.
Tarceva Helps Treat the Following Conditions:
Lung cancer is the second-most common type of cancer, mostly caused by smoking. Up to 85 percent of all lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancer, which is relatively unresponsive to chemotherapy.
Advanced-Stage Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic tumors are formed when cells in the pancreas start to grow rapidly. In addition to serious exposure to certain chemicals (such as those used in dry cleaning), smoking and being overweight are two of the biggest risk factors.There are two types of pancreatic cancer: exocrine and endocrine.
Tarceva Active Ingredient
Generic Tarceva Alternative: Erlotinib-Hydrochloride
Tarceva contains the active ingredient erlotinib, which blocks certain proteins that encourage cancer cells to grow.
General Drug Information
What is Tarceva and What Is It Used For?
Tarceva helps treat non-small cell lung cancer which has both spread to other parts of the body and also has a particular type of genetic mutation. Before starting treatment, patients need to be tested to find out whether their type of EGFR mutation will respond to treatment with Tarceva.
Tarceva – along with gemcitabine – is also prescribed to patients with advanced-stage pancreatic cancer.
Usage and Application
Tarceva should be taken as prescribed by a patient’s doctor, and dosage depends on the patient’s medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications the patient may be taking. Patients should inform their physician about all prescription drugs and supplements they are taking.
Most patients are prescribed one daily oral dose on an empty stomach. Patients are normally directed to take the medication at least one hour before a meal, or two hours after.
In order to experience its full benefit, it is important to take this medication regularly. To help patients remember, it is recommended that Tarceva is taken at the same time each day.
Patients should not increase doses or take the medication more often than prescribed. This can cause serious side effects.
Medications that lower stomach acid – like ranitidine – can interact negatively with Tarceva, reducing its effect.
Grapefruit may increase the risk of side effects when taken with this medicine. Patients should avoid eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice unless informed by their doctor or pharmacist that they may do so safely.
Tarceva may harm an unborn baby. Pregnant women, or those who may be pregnant, should not handle this drug as it can be absorbed through the skin and lungs. Avoid touching tablets and make sure to avoid breathing in dust from them.
Considerations Before Taking Tarceva
Before beginning treatment, patients need to discuss the possibility of allergic reactions to Tarceva.
It is vital to discuss the patient’s medical history, especially of liver and kidney disease. Stomach problems such as ulcers and diverticulosis should also be mentioned./p>
Patients preparing for surgery should inform their doctor or dentist about all medicines, supplements and herbal products they are taking.
Tarceva may cause stomach bleeding. The risk is higher for people who use alcohol daily. Patients should limit alcoholic drinks.
Patients should limit time in the sun and avoid tanning booths and sunlamps in order to avoid negative skin reactions. In addition, it is recommended to use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
Tarceva may harm an unborn baby. While taking this drug, female patients must use reliable protection methods to avoid pregnancy. Patients should continue to protect against pregnancy for at least one month after stopping treatment. In the event of pregnancy, patients should alert their doctor immediately.
It is not known whether Tarceva passes into breast milk but, because of the possible risk involved, breastfeeding while using this drug is not recommended. Nursing mothers should also avoid breastfeeding for at least two weeks after the last dose.
Delayed and Omitted Doses
Patients who miss a dose of Tarceva should take it as soon as they remember. If this happens near the time for the next dose, patients should skip the missed dose and proceed as usual. Patients should not double up the dose in order to catch up./p>
Other Medications and Tarceva
Drug interactions may change the way Tarceva works, and can increase the risk of side effects. Before starting treatment, patients need to discuss the full list of medications and supplements they are taking with their doctor.
Patients should not change their dose or stop taking this medication unless their physician advises them to do so.
Avoid co-administering Tarceva with medications – like the antibiotics clarithromycin,telithromycin – which inhibit production of the enzyme CYP3A4 in the body. This increases the levels of Tarceva in the blood.
Additional examples include the hepatitis C medication boceprevir, hyponatremia medication conivaptan, and some HIV drugs (indinavir, lopinavir, ritonavir, nelfinavir, and saquinavir).
The same applies to some azole antifungal medications (itraconazole and ketoconazole), the antidepressant nefazodone, and antifungal medications posaconazole and voriconazole. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice also increase the levels of Tarceva in the body.
On the other hand, medications which act as CYP3A4 inducers – for example the anticonvulsant drugs carbamazepine and phenytoin – lower the amount of Tarceva in the body.
The rifamycin antibiotics rifampin, rifabutin, and rifapentine have a similar effect. The anticonvulsant phenobarbital and the herb St. John's wort also lower the levels of Tarceva in the blood.
Some drugs – like the blood thinner warfarin – may change the way Tarceva works. Proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole have a similar effect.
Cigarette smoking decreases levels of Tarceva in the blood. Smokers or those who have recently quit should inform their doctor.
Pain and fever medications – such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen – may often contain active substances, which increase the risk of stomach bleeding when taken together with Tarceva.
However, people who have been prescribed low doses of aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke should continue taking it, unless advised to stop by their doctor.
Many patients are able to take Tarceva safely without serious side effects.
Common side effects include diarrhea, dry skin, muscle pain, mouth sores, unusual eyelash growth, eye dryness, and irritation. In some cases, diarrhea can be so severe that patients may need to take medication for relief
Serious side effects include kidney problems, which can manifest as changes in the amount of urine. Patients should monitor for liver disease symptoms like vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, dark urine, and yellowing of the eyes and skin.
Some people experience signs of dehydration, including extreme thirst, muscle cramps, dizziness, and even fainting.
Serious side effects can also include redness or swelling around the nails, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, easy bleeding and bruising, unusual tiredness, eye pain, and vision changes.
Patients should seek immediate medical help in the event they experience new or worsening shortness of breath or cough; pain in the chest, jaw, or left arm; weakness on one side of the body, trouble speaking, confusion, or seizures.
Some patients may experience a mild rash that is not serious. However, it could be difficult to tell it apart from a rare rash signifying severe allergic reaction. Patients should alert their doctor if they develop any rash.
Serious allergic reactions to Tarceva are rare, yet patients should be aware of allergic symptoms such as rash, itching and swelling, severe dizziness and trouble breathing.
How to Store Tarceva
Tarceva should be stored at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep away from children and pets.
Unwanted medication should be disposed of properly and should not be poured into drains or flushed down the toilet. Patients should consult a pharmacist or their local waste disposal company to find out more about safe disposal methods
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