Erlotinib (Trade name: Tarceva) – Chemotherapy Drug Used In Lung Cancer Treatment

Erlotinib is a cancer drug and belongs to class of signal transduction inhibitor.It is available with the trade name of Tarceva.It is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Tyrosine kinase is a protein that signals the growth of cancer cells, progression and metastasis. Erlotinib blocks these actions.

Picture of Erlotinib

Read more on what is lung cancer here.

Availability, Dosage and Administration of Erlotinib

Erlotinib can be taken orally by the patient as it is available in a tablet form.


It is available in the tablet form with dose strength of 25 mg, 100 mg and 150 mg.


The recommended dose is 150mg tablet/day.


  • Approved for the treatment of Non-small cell Lung cancer with EGFR mutations.
  • Approved for the treatment of Pancreatic cancer.

Side effects

Most people don’t experience side effects and most side effects that do occur go away once the treatment is complete. The most common side effects are:

  • Itching, dry skin and skin rash  especially on face and trunk.
  • Diarrhea
  • Lung toxicity in the form of increased cough, difficulty in breathing, fever etc.
  • Anorexia
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Radiation recall skin reactions.


  • Before starting erlotinib treatment, inform your doctor about other medications that you might be taking.
  • Do not take any kind of vaccination or immunization without informing your doctor
  • Use with caution in patients with Liver impairment.
  • Inform your doctor before starting the erlotinib treatment if you are pregnant
  • Do not conceive a child while on the erlotinib treatment. This applies to both men and women.
  • Do not breastfeed while on Erlotinib treatment.

Read more on drugs used for treatment of lung cancer.

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