tarceva

Hi out there. I am so new to all this. I have a question for all of you. Has anyone not been able to tolerate tarceva at all? My husband is having a very difficult time with it. It is supposed to give you more quality time than conventional chemo but is certainly not doing that for him. I would love to hear some of your experiences. Thanks!

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My Mom had tried Tarceva three different times, but her body could not tolerate it. She had terrible bone pain.She could barely move. So she had to turn to conventional chemo treatment. The good news is that she is doing wonderfully! Good luck to you and your husband!

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I am not a doctor and situations matter, but in some of these, the Tarceva is just not working.

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I was on tarceva as part of a medical trial with pertuzimab, then tarceva by itself. Dose was dropped progressively from 150mg to 50, because of toxicity of side effects, but I still got many months of benefits.

Checkout whether your mum can have a lower dose.

Gail

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Sorry, should have said your husband, not mum!

Gail

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My husband has been on Tarceva since Jan. He had been on the 150 mg dose. Last week the onc changed the dose to 75 mg one day and 150 mg the next because of the latest side effects. It did shrink the tumor by 2 cm after 1 1/2 months but the onc thinks now that it is losing its effectiveness. He gets another CT scan next month. My husband's heart is too weak for another line of chemo so we were thankful that Tarceva was an option.

Becky

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PS You didn't mention what side effects he was having. Have you seen Marie's posts? You can Google "Tarceva Side Effect Busters #1 and #2. There are some helpful info in those.

Becky

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Dear Friends,

To my small knowledge, Only 12% of the population
are eligible for taking Tarceva and gain its benefits.

Moshe

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Is tarceva given when you have a particular mutation? How is it admininistered how often?

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luckless,
My husband had a terrible time with chemo, so he is now on Tarceva (since May 15). Yesterday, the doctor told him to stop the tarceva for a week to allow the rash to subside and to help him feel better. I hope it works. (Rash is on his butt, groin, armpits, trunk, and face.)

He is still having some residual side effects from his last chemo treatment, so it's hard for me to sort out what side effects are due to the tarceva (besides the rash) and what is still leftover from before.

Good luck!

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I am so sorry he is having problems with the Tarceva. You did not say what dosage he is on and what problems he is having.

Do check out this board for information on how to treat different side effects. Also once you get thru the initial period, some of them will lessen. I had the skin condition initially but using the various treatments I had learned about here, was able to pretty much keep in at bay. Now it breaks out every once in awhile. I think it is harder dealing with the side effects in the beginning, but gradually it does get easier.

As to dosage, my Onc started me on 100 for 2 weeks and the moved me up to 150. I think that was a good idea.

I wish you both the best. I hope that somehow he can tolerate the Tarceva because as much as I hate all the side effects, it is a miracle drug.

Kathy

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My cancer journey has been a year this month so I'd call myself now a one-year survivor. Of that one year, I have been on Tarceva going on 11 months. I experienced extreme side effects (burning feeling, rashes) from the 150mg but I did not let myself suffer for more than three days. I cut the pill in half (Don't listen to me..I am not a role model!) and confessed to my Onc later. Incidentally my Onc also has lung cancer. I have been leading a normal life on 75mg with two good scans to show for it. In my appointment with my Onc last week, he and I agreed to raise the dosage to 100mg (actually 112.5mg because I am a pill cutter) in case Tarceva begins to acquire resistance. I am glad there is still room for raising the dosage.

I hope your husband's issues are resolved in his favor.

Celia

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Dear friends

Half a year ago, Cancer attcked me the second time, three years after the operation which took 2 Parts of the 3 Of my right lung.

Threee Mon's ago I was operated on my lower Back
where Cancer appeard and broked S1 Line.

I'm taking Tarceva ( 150 ) from 8 Mon's ago. But it begun working only since the last 3 Mon's. My last Blood check, a week ago, showed that CEA Marker was 6 and that made us very happy.

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My onc advised that tarceva can be taken by about 15 percent of population and within that number hasgood success rate. Great news for them! I tried it for 2 weeks and hadto quit. Suffered flaming face really red and scaley, tiredness, loss of appetite, althoughgiving off great heat i couldn,t get warm, and a r e d rash all over my body with pimples as well. Three weeks later much better without it but still have purple spots over my back,all rest side effects have abated. In Aus tarceva prescribed generally as last line in chemo family unless you have relevant diagnosis as tarceva not developed to treat all cancers bt towards end of treatment we all like hat one in a million shot. Give it up and then retry on smaller doses building up to what you can tolerate. Me, I've settled for quality of what's left to enjoy with family as long as I can manage pain.Good luck and may your God bless you!

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My onc advised that tarceva can be taken by about 15 percent of population and within that number hasgood success rate. Great news for them! I tried it for 2 weeks and hadto quit. Suffered flaming face really red and scaley, tiredness, loss of appetite, althoughgiving off great heat i couldn,t get warm, and a r e d rash all over my body with pimples as well. Three weeks later much better without it but still have purple spots over my back,all rest side effects have abated. In Aus tarceva prescribed generally as last line in chemo family unless you have relevant diagnosis as tarceva not developed to treat all cancers bt towards end of treatment we all like hat one in a million shot. Give it up and then retry on smaller doses building up to what you can tolerate. Me, I've settled for quality of what's left to enjoy with family as long as I can manage pain.Good luck and may your God bless you!

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This is my second round of cancer. I had surgery to remove top of left lung last year. I tried chemo and radiation the first time last year. This year cancer back in lung. So my doctor put me on tarceva in January. On it 40 days rashes were bad and sores in mouth were bad. He took me off for 10 days. Everything cleared up now back on tarceva and everything good. Rash very light no sores in mouth. Hope husband does better.

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I was on 100mg Tarceva for 2 1/2 months, and it did perform miracles. Primary (and only) lung tumor shrunk by over 80%, lymph nodes all but disappeared (I had involvement throughout my body, neck to groin), one spinal lesion gone, hip tumor healing nicely after radiation.

Note: I was taken off the Tarceva after a short period because of the toxicity. I had the rash, and it was no fun, but it went away after six weeks. The other side effects were, in hindsight,
nearly incapacitating, though at the time we blamed a lot of it on recovery from radiation which had done a number on my left hip.

I had diarrhea that was only barely controlled by medication, complete loss of appetite, depression, fatigue, you name it. It all came to a head the morning I woke up and realized I couldn't make my hands work because of severe neuropathy that came on over the course of a weekend.

After a two-month break from treatment to let my body recover I have just finished up the third of four cycles of Taxol/Cisplat, and compared with Tarceva, this has been smooth sailing. The only side effect I've really had to deal with is manageable fatigue (mostly on the third day after treatment).

My story is the exception, I know. Perhaps I'm the object lesson that there is no "one size" answer to which treatments are "easy" and which aren't. Tarceva did its job and did so quite effectively, but it wasn't the easy road for me that it has been for so many. Conversely, I know there are people on the same chemo cocktail I'm taking now for whom just getting out of bed in the morning is a small victory.

A dosage reduction might help if the side effects are really having a negative impact on QOL, or it may be that a different treatment would be better for him. Definitely be honest with the doc about the side effects and their impact on his quality of life.

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I started Tarceva 150 in November 2012 and reacted severely. I was taken off it completely after 10 days. After 10 days off I began 50mg, then in two weeks up to 75 and then to 100 which is where I have been ever since. The side effects have subsided little by little and are now not near as bad. Still not always a picnic, mind you. All evidence of disease has been gone for about 6 months. A little rough at first but after some adjustments, very worth it. Oh, and don't forget to pray.

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I had a terrible rash all over my body about 2 weeks after I started on 150mg. I took Doxycycline and after a couple of days, the rash almost completely cleared up. Make sure you have a prescription of this drug when you start taking Tarceva as well as clindamycin for the rash. The rash has never come back with that kind of intensity. And after two months, I was declared NED. 13 mo. now and hoping for more.

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Rash is connected with response. Godivagirl and others make some good suggestions about dealing with that. For EGFR positive patients, this is an important drug and those in that group have to think twice about abandoning the drug because of side effects.

As to others, the benefits are debatable and sometimes perceived side effects like fatigue may be attributable to the drug's ineffectiveness with EGFR negative patients,.

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Hello luckless. I took 150 mg tarceva for over 3 months but by the 3rd months I was in pretty bad shape. Diareha, fatigue, shortness of breath, depression, no appetite and several others. Finally just couldn't take it. My doc put me on 150 mg every other day and I am doing pretty good now. All the really bad side effects are almost gone. Just hoping it's working. I feel better so I'm praying that's a good sign. Ask you doctor if you can take less.

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