HEALTH GUIDE REFERENCE FROM A.D.A.M
Used with other medicines to treat pancreatic cancer. Also treats non-small cell lung cancer that has not responded to other cancer medicines.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to erlotinib, or if you are pregnant.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach. Take the medicine at least 1 hour before eating or 2 hours after eating.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using nefazodone (Serzone®), St. John's wort, medicine for seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Dilantin®, or Tegretol®), or medicine to treat an infection (such as clarithromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine, telithromycin, troleandomycin, voriconazole, Biaxin®, Mycobutin®, Nizoral®, Priftin®, Rifadin®, Sporanox®, TAO®, or Vfend®).
- Tell your doctor if you are also using medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as atazanavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Crixivan®, Fortovase®, Norvir®, Reyataz®, or Viracept®), a blood thinner (such as warfarin or Coumadin®), or a pain or arthritis medicine, sometimes called "NSAIDs" (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Bextra®, Ecotrin®, or Motrin®).
- Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.
- Avoid smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away. You should continue to use birth control at least 14 days after you have stopped taking this medicine.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease or a history of lung disease or breathing problems.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Bloody or black, tarry stools.
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
- Eye redness, irritation, or pain.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach.
- Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
- Severe or ongoing diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite.
- Shortness of breath or worsening lung symptoms.
- Sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking.
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
- Vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Bone or muscle pain.
- Dizziness or headache.
- Hair loss.
- Mild diarrhea, constipation, gas, or stomach pain or upset.
- Mild skin rash, itching, or dryness.
- Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
- Tiredness, anxiety, or depression.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Weight loss.
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