Treats lung and pancreatic cancer.
Our bottom line
Tarceva (erlotinib) is an oral medication that is effective as first-choice treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer and certain forms of lung cancer, but it can have serious side effects.
- Effective as first-choice treatment for NSCLC with EGFR exon 19 or 21 mutations and for pancreatic cancer. Compared to placebo, Tarceva (erlotinib) significantly prolonged survival in pancreatic cancer.
- Taken by mouth as a pill.
- FDA-approved since 2004, so there is more data available compared to newer medications.
- Fewer serious side effects compared to some chemotherapy options.
- Need to avoid excessive sun exposure as it can lead to a rash while taking Tarceva (erlotinib).
- Not a good choice if you are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant, as it can harm your unborn baby.
- Certain medications can interfere with Tarceva (erlotinib), so it is important your doctor and pharmacist are aware of all medications you are taking.
Tarceva (erlotinib) is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. It targets a protein involved in cancer cell survival and growth.
- Advanced pancreatic cancer
- Non-small cell lung cancer
- Lung cancer
What to expect when you take Tarceva (erlotinib) for Pancreatic cancerSkip what to expect section. Skip to Risks & Warnings section.
Side effect rates for Tarceva (erlotinib)
Risks and Warnings for Tarceva (erlotinib)Skip risks section. Skip to common concerns section.
Rare, serious cases of inflamed lung tissue can occur with Tarceva (erlotinib). Symptoms generally occur between 5 days to 9 months after starting Tarceva (erlotinib). Talk to your doctor if you have trouble breathing, cough, or fever.
Common concerns from people taking Tarceva (erlotinib)Final section. Do you want to return to drug navigation?
- Kidney damage and in some cases kidney failure can occur with Tarceva (erlotinib). Your doctor will check your kidneys regularly to make sure they're ok.