Tarceva

(erlotinib)

Pronounced Tar-ce-va

Tarceva, also known as erlotinib, is used to treat advanced or metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor positive (EGFR+) Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC).

EGFR is a protein on the surface of cells which normally helps the cells grow and divide. Some NSCLC cells have too much EGFR, which makes them grow faster. Tarceva, an EGFR inhibitor, can block the signal from EGFR that tells the cells to grow.

Have you been tested for EGFR+ NSCLC?

To establish if you have an EGFR mutation causing your lung cancer, your doctor needs to request a special type of test for you that involves analysing a sample of your tumour tissue. This will determine whether Tarceva is likely to be suitable for your cancer type. If you’re not sure if you’ve had one of these tests, talk to your doctor who will be able to advise you.

How to access Tarceva

Tarceva is a PHARMAC funded medicine for patients with NSCLC who meet pre-defined criteria. For more information talk to your doctor.

Talking to your doctor about Tarceva

Handy resources

Tarceva Consumer Medicine Information
Click Here

Tarceva® (erlotinib), 150mg, 100mg and 25mg tablets, is a Prescription Medicine used for the treatment of advanced or metastatic (spreading) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Tarceva can be given before or after initial chemotherapy if your cancer has specific mutations in a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). It can also be given later on when chemotherapy has not worked.

Do not use Tarceva if: you are allergic to erlotinib or any ingredients in Tarceva.

Tell your doctor if: you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or plan to become pregnant or breast-feed, you have liver or kidney problems, you have had stomach ulcers or inflammation of the bowel wall, you are a smoker, you cannot tolerate lactose, or you are taking any other medicines.

Tell your doctor immediately or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Centre if you notice any of the following: sudden onset of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing with cough and/or fever; severe or persistent diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting; severe stomach pain or discomfort; vomiting blood or bleeding from your back passage; tongue and/or facial swelling; hives or wheezing; blisters on the skin, especially in the nose, eyes and mouth; red or purple rash that spreads, accompanied by fever and chills, aching muscles and generally feeling unwell; yellowing of the skin and eyes or dark coloured urine.

Serious side effects may include: infection with fever or chills; mouth irritation, sore mouth, mouth  ulcers or cold sores; persistent cough. Possible common side effects may also include: diarrhoea; loss of appetite or weight loss; nausea or vomiting; dehydration; stomach pain or discomfort or belching after eating; difficulty in breathing; tiredness; rash; itching; dry skin; acne; tear in the skin; folliculitis (infection of hair follicles); unusual hair loss or thinning; eye irritation, inflammation or infection; nose bleeds; infection of nail bed or swelling around the nails; headache; fever; rigors or shaking; depression; or numbness or weakness of the arms and legs.

Tarceva has risks and benefits. Ask your doctor if Tarceva is right for you. Use strictly as directed. If symptoms continue or you have side effects, see your healthcare professional. For further information on Tarceva, please talk to your health professional or visit www.medsafe.govt.nz for Tarceva Consumer Medicine Information.

Tarceva (150mg and 100mg tablets) is a funded medicine for patients with NSCLC who meet pre- defined criteria. A prescription charge and normal doctor’s fees apply.

Consumer panel dated 14.04.2019

Roche Products (New Zealand) Limited, Auckland. Phone: 0800 656 464. www.roche.co.nz. All trademarks mentioned herein are protected by law.