Afatinib

Description

Afatinib is used as a first-line therapy to treat and prevent the growth of a type of cancer called non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This medicine is not recommended for use in patients below 18 years of age.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Afatinib

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dry skin
  • Redness, swelling or pain of the skin
  • Burning, dry and itchy eyes
  • Fever
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration

Uses of Afatinib

What is it prescribed for?

  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The peak effect of this medicine can be observed within 2 to 5 hours of administration of the dose.
  • Duration of effect
    The amount of time for which this medicine remains active in the body is not clinically established.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit-forming tendencies were reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless necessary. The risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue the drug or to discontinue breastfeeding based on your clinical condition

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to afatinib or any other inactive ingredients present along with it.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless necessary. The risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue the drug or to discontinue breastfeeding based on your clinical condition
General warnings

Dermatological toxicities

This medicine should be used with caution since it may increase the risk of severe skin reactions like Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Management of dermatological toxicities may include topical therapies for symptomatic relief, temporary treatment discontinuation and/or dose modification, or in severe or persistent cases, permanent discontinuation of the treatment. You are advised to use sunscreen and wear protective clothing to avoid adverse reactions to sunlight during treatment with this medicine.

Diarrhea

This medicine should be used with caution since it may increase the risk of severe diarrhea. This may lead to severe dehydration and renal impairment. Temporary treatment discontinuation and/or dose modification may be required for patients with severe diarrhea who are not responding to antidiarrheal agents.

Lung toxicity

This medicine should be used with caution since it may increase the risk of lung disorders such as Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) with lung infiltration, pneumonitis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, allergic alveolitis, etc. Report any symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, cough, fever, etc to the doctor immediately. Management of lung toxicities may include symptomatic therapies, temporary treatment discontinuation and/or dose modification, or in severe or persistent cases, permanent discontinuation of the treatment.

Liver disease

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with liver diseases due to the increased risk of adverse effects. Close monitoring of liver function tests is recommended while receiving this medicine. Report any unusual symptoms to the doctor immediately. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Eye toxicity

This medicine should be used with caution since it may increase the risk of keratitis which is characterized by acute or worsening eye inflammation, lacrimation, blurred vision, light sensitivity, eye pain, etc. Management of eye toxicities may include temporary treatment discontinuation and/or dose modification, or in severe or persistent cases, permanent discontinuation of the treatment.

Use in Children

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients below 18 years of age since the safety and efficacy of use are not clinically established.

Driving or Operating machinery

Use of this medicine may cause dizziness in some patients. It is advised that you do not perform any activities such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery if you experience dizziness during the treatment with this medicine.

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next scheduled dose, then the missed dose can be skipped. Do not take a missed dose within 12 hours of the next dose. Contact your doctor for further instructions if you miss more than one scheduled dose of this medicine.

Overdose

Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Leflunomide

Lomitapide

Teriflunomide

Efavirenz

Cyclosporine

Mipomersen

Ketoconazole

Disease interactions

Lung disease

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with a history of interstitial lung disease presenting with acute onset of new or progressive unexplained pulmonary symptoms such as dyspnea, cough, and fever pending diagnostic evaluation due to the increased risk of lung toxicity. Appropriate dose adjustments and frequent clinical monitoring are advised while receiving this medicine. Replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.
Food interactions
The absorption of this medicine is reduced in the presence of food. Hence, it is advised to take this medicine on an empty stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take this medicine exactly as prescribed by the doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller quantities than recommended. Take this medicine at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after the meal. You may require frequent blood tests and liver function tests while taking this medicine. You may also require frequent followups with your doctor to check the progress of treatment. Do not stop the use of this medicine without consulting your doctor.
Miscelleneous

To be taken on an empty stomach

To be taken as instructed by doctor

May cause sleepiness

How it works
This medicine works by inhibiting the actions of certain abnormal proteins that cause the cancer cells to multiply. This helps in stopping the growth and spread of cancer.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Multikinase inhibitors, Antineoplastics

Schedule

Schedule H

[Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2018 [cited 4 December 2018]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=fd638e5e-8032-e7ca-0179-95e96ab5d387

[Internet]. Medicines.org.uk. 2018 [cited 4 December 2018]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/5147/smpc#

Afatinib - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2018 [cited 4 December 2018]. Available from:

https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB08916

[Internet]. Ebs.tga.gov.au. 2018 [cited 4 December 2018]. Available from:

https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/ebs/picmi/picmirepository.nsf/pdf?OpenAgent&id=CP-2013-PI-02417-1&d=201812041016933

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Information on this page was last updated on 24 Jan 2019

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.