Erlotinib functions as an EGFR inhibitor, targeting the tyrosine kinase domain within this receptor, which is often overactive in various forms of cancer. By blocking the activity of this domain, Erlotinib disrupts the growth and division signals in cancer cells, leading to their death and inhibiting tumor growth. This mechanism of action makes it an effective option for treating specific types of cancer with identified genetic markers for EGFR activation.

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Erlotinib, marketed under the trade name Tarceva, among others, is a targeted therapy used in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and pancreatic cancer. It is specifically designed for cancers with certain epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations, promoting cancer cell growth. By inhibiting these receptors, Erlotinib helps slow the growth and spread of tumors. It is typically used when other cancer treatments have not been effective.

Additional information



● Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC): For the treatment of advanced NSCLC with specific EGFR mutations as identified by an FDA-approved test.
● Pancreatic Cancer: In combination with gemcitabine, for treating advanced pancreatic cancer.

Administration Guidelines:

● Erlotinib is taken orally, usually once daily, with or without food. However, absorbing It with food can increase its effectiveness but also might increase side effects.
● Avoid taking antacids or H2 antagonists (such as ranitidine, famotidine) concurrently with Erlotinib as they can decrease its effectiveness.
● It's crucial to follow the dosage your healthcare provider prescribes based on your condition, response to treatment, and concurrent medications.

Side Effects

● Rash
● Diarrhea
● Loss of appetite
● Fatigue
● Difficulty breathing
● Cough

Serious side effects necessitating immediate medical attention include:

● Severe or persistent diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or appetite loss
● Eye pain or irritation
● Easy bleeding or bruising
● Dark urine or jaundice
● Severe skin rash


Erlotinib should be stored at room temperature, between 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F), in its original package to protect it from moisture. Keep it out of reach of children and pets, and avoid storing it in locations exposed to excessive heat or humidity.

Special Precautions

Before starting treatment with Erlotinib, patients should disclose their complete medical history to their healthcare provider, especially concerns related to liver or kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders, or if they have had a smoking history, which can affect the drug's metabolism.


Overdose of Erlotinib can lead to an exacerbation of its side effects. In the event of an overdose, seek immediate medical attention or contact a poison control center immediately.


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