Afatinib is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Afatinib is used to treat a certain type of non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Afatinib is used for this condition only if your tumor has a specific genetic marker for which your doctor will test.
Afatinib is also used to treat squamous non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body after other cancer medicine has been tried without successful treatment.
Afatinib may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
You should not use afatinib if you are allergic to it.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
Afatinib may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using afatinib and for at least 2 weeks after your last dose. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant.
Do not not breast-feed while using this medicine and for 2 weeks after your last dose.
Before you start treatment, your doctor may perform tests to make sure afatinib is the best treatment for your type of lung cancer.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Take afatinib on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
Usual Adult Dose for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: 40 mg orally once a day until disease progression or intolerance by the patient
Afatinib can cause severe diarrhea, which can be life-threatening if it leads to dehydration. You may be given medications to prevent or quickly treat diarrhea.
Your doctor may recommend you have an anti-diarrhea medicine such as loperamide (Imodium) available at all times while you are taking afatinib. Take the anti-diarrhea medicine as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.
Call your doctor if you are sick with severe diarrhea, or diarrhea lasting longer than 2 days. You may need to stop taking afatinib for a short time.
You will need frequent medical tests.
Store the tablets in their original container at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
Throw away any afatinib tablets not used before the expiration date on the medicine label.
Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if your next dose is due in less than 12 hours. Do not use two doses at one time.
Seek emergency medical attention.
Afatinib could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Afatinib can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient’s body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using afatinib and call your doctor at once if you have:
Common side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Other drugs may affect afatinib, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
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Notice: The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.