Tarceva is generically known as erlotinib. This is a quinazolinamine which is a kinase inhibitor. Erlotinib is present in Tarceva as the hydrochloride salt.
Composition of Tarceva
The molecular formula of erlotinib hydrochloride is C22H23N3O4-HCl with a molar mass of 429.90 g/mol. This substance is slightly soluble in methanol and water, insoluble in acetone, hexane, ethyl acetate and acetonitrile.
This medication is used for the treatment of lung cancer. Erlotinib is also used in combination with other drug to treat the cancer in pancreas. It works by reducing the growth of cancerous cells. In some tumors it binds to a particular protein (EGFR- Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor). Erlotinib is present in a class of medicines known as kinase inhibitors.
How to Use Tarceva
Tarceva tablets are available for oral administration in the dosage strength of three containing erlotinib hydrochloride (163.9 mg, 109.3 mg and 27.3 mg) equivalent to 150 mg, 100 mg and 25 mg erlotinib and other inactive components. This medication should be taken orally on an empty stomach generally once in a day preferably 2 hours before or after a meal. Tarceva should not be taken within two hours after taking an antacid (tablets/liquids), This may stop the absorption of the medicine into the body.
Side-effects of Tarceva
Vomiting, nausea, mouth sores, eye irritation/dryness, dry skin or loss of appetite may occur. Diarrhea is a common reaction to this drug. Intake of plenty of fluids is recommended while using this medicine so that the risk of losing body water is reduced. Inform your doctor if any of the following serious signs are observed:
- Yellowing skin/eyes
- Infectious signs
- Dark urine
- Abnormal fatigue
- Easy bruising/bleeding
- Black stools
- Abdominal pain/ stomach ache
- Eye pain
- Allergic reactions
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent cough
- Severe dizziness
- Vision changes
- Trouble breathing
Tell your pharmacist if you have any kind of allergies. Before consuming this medicine inform your doctor about your medical history, mainly of: kidney disorders, liver problems, intestinal/stomach disease like diverticulosis or ulcers. Few acid-lowering drugs (like omeprazole, famotidine) used during heartburn, indigestion or ulcers may stop the proper functioning of erlotinib. This medicine may elevate the risk of bleeding in stomach. Alcoholic beverages should be avoided. Sunlight may cause worsening effects on skin that may show up while using tarceva.
Use of Tarceva in pregnancy
As this drug has a capability to penetrate through the skin, pregnant women or women of child-bearing age should not break or handle the tablets of this drug. Use of Tarceva is not recommended for pregnant women. It may cause miscarriage or harm the fetus. Reliable birth control methods must be used during the healing by the women who may become pregnant. It is unknown whether erlotinib is excreted into the breast milk. But due to the possible risk to the nursing baby, breast-feeding during the consumption of this drug is strongly not recommended.
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