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Tarceva 150 mg is a powerful anti-cancer drug from the group of protein kinase inhibitors. The international name of this drug is Erlotinib, and its active substance is Erlotinib in the form of hydrochloride. The drug is recommended for the treatment of malignant neoplasms in bronchi, lungs and pancreas.
Tarceva is an active inhibitor of protein kinases, successfully affecting the intracellular phosphorylation of the epidermal growth factor. Suppression of this substance occurs both in normal healthy cells and in atypical ones. It also inhibits phosphotyrosine, causing decrease of tumor cell growth and death.
The mutation of phosphotyrosine leads to activation of apoptosis signal in cells, blocking of signaling pathways in neoplasms, suppression of cell division and initiation of internal mechanisms of cell death.
Mechanism of action.
Tarceva 150 mg actively suppresses the activity of cancer cell receptors and differentiation, blocking the dependent signal ways in the cells, thereby impeding the growth of malignancies and contributes to their death.
The main active substance of Tarceva 150 mg (Erlotinib) is actively absorbed in the digestive tract and reaches medium concentration in the blood plasma 4 hours after the intake. Clinical studies have proven that the bioavailability of this drug is almost 60%, and the meal can somehow increase it.
Who should use the drug?
Tarceva is also effective for the following diseases:
locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (III-IV stage), accompanied by the mutation in the EPF gene (the drug is used as an initial therapy or supportive treatment after four courses of chemotherapy or unsuccessful treatment with platinum derivatives);
locally advanced malignancy or metastases in the pancreas (in combination with gemcitabine).
How to use the drug?
Features of use of Tarceva 150 mg, duration of treatment and doses depend on the characteristics of diseases and are prescribed by the doctor. General recommendations are the following:
the pills should be taken once a day (1 hour before or 2 hours after the meal);
daily dose for the patients with lung cancer is 150 mg (the course is long);
patients with malignant pancreas cancer should take 100 mg of Erlotinib in combination with gemcitabine (long course);
if the disease progresses or if you notice the symptoms of intoxication, the treatment with Tarceva should be stopped;
The treatment course should be revised and (if necessary) prolonged in 1-2 months, if the patients don’t demonstrate skin rash and other problems.
When and how to correct the dose?
Sometimes it may be necessary to correct the drug dose. One should regulate the amount of drug taken during the day, gradually reducing/increasing the dose by 50 mg.
As most of Tarceva 150 mg leaves the body through the liver, patients with minor or moderate liver dysfunction should reduce daily dose of Tarceva (up to 9 on the Child-Pugh score).
The tolerance of Erlotinib by patients with kidney diseases hasn’t been tested. Therefore, they should take anti-cancer drug with caution, starting with the low doses.
It is necessary to stop smoking during the treatment, as nicotine reduces the concentration of Erlotinib in blood plasma by 50%–60% The daily dose of Tarceva 150 mg for smokers should be increased, but it must not exceed 300 mg (smokers can’t tolerate higher doses).
Patients using Tarceva often complain about the fatigue, chill, fever and quick weight loss. There have been cases of severe diseases, such as: lung diseases, purulent inflammation of the deep skin layers, etc.
The use of Tarceva in a weekly dosage of 1000 or 1600 mg was tolerated well, but re-use of the drug at a dosage of 200 mg twice a day for several days caused the development of adverse reactions even in healthy people who agreed to experiments.
The use of Tarceva in dosages exceeding the recommended dosage can lead to serious consequences. If suspicion of an overdose of therapy is suspended. Patients are prescribed symptomatic drugs, since no specific antidote has been developed.