Tarceva and alcohol

My husband was diagnosed with NSCLC in Feb '07. He has mets to brain and bone. He has had 12 sessions of WBR and Zometa for bones once a month since February. Tarceva is working nicely for the most part. He likes to have a glass of wine with dinner. His Dr. is skeptical because of its possible interaction with Tarceva. Well, a glass of wine helps hime to feel like his old self (before dx 3 months ago) and I'm all for it. Does ANYONE have info about drinking a moderate amount of alcohol while taking Tarceva and/or Zometa?

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The only thing I recall is they say do not eat Grapfruit if you're on Tarceva. My wife likes to eat exotic fruits. Actually to her they are not exotic. However, the Taceva web site does not explain what is in Grapefruit that is a problem.

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I can only speak for myself, But I have drank on the avg. of say 3 beers (Bud Light ) for going on 3.5 years of onging tretments. I fish a few days a week , I still hunt when I have time, I'm still here, I'm still working everyday, Went on a vacation trip to Mexico, I'm still here after 3.5 years so a few beers dosn't seam like it hurts anything.

Hope this helps

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Your comments made more sense than the doctor's. Your husband has a serious disease and if a moderate amount of alcohol helps him relax, that makes sense. I do not recall seeing anything in the literature about alcohol interactions. It's probably unknown, like a lot about Tarceva. Unless the doctor was able to show you specific data indicating alcohol risks, you might want to give your husband the chance to relax with some wine (though I am not a doctor).

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Here's what I got when I googled "Alcohol tarceva interaction": DAILY USE OF ALCOHOL OR SMOKING TOBACCO while taking this medicine may increase your risk for stomach bleeding.

Found it at http://www.drugstore.com/qxn50242006401_333181_sespider/tarceva/tarcev a.htm

When I went deeper, they mention only one interaction with Tarceva - tobacco. They indicate: "TARCEVA (ERLOTINIB) and TOBACCO
Severity: Moderate

Description: Smoking tobacco while being treated with erlotinib may reduce the amount of erlotinib in your blood, making your erlotinib not work as well for you.

Smoking tobacco while being treated with erlotinib is not usually recommended. Smoking tobacco together with taking erlotinib may reduce the amount of erlotinib in your blood. This may decrease how well erlotinib works for you. Your physician may change your dose of erlotinib if necessary"

On the Mayo Clinic site (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR601599) they caution that using Tarceva may increase the chance serious of liver disease.

But I could not find very many other mentions. My thinking is that the one disclaimer is probably a "protect yourself" one, rather than a cause of serious concern. In other words, my suggestion is to "toast" the alliance tonight when you have your glass of wine.



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Hi Robin:
I think Chum did the best thing by researching the various sites on Tarceva so an informed decision could be made. I love that about her. I agree after reading what she researched. I think alcohol in moderation would be fine. His doctor probably wants to protect him as best possible from any possible side effects of taking the Tarceva. Moderation is the key. Now, if he were to lug a jug...
now that might be another story! Cheers and Cheers to the fella having a beer while fishing! As
our Dave would say, "life life to it's fullest."

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I prefer a good Cab, but on a hot summers day, a bit of chard will do as well.
I am so glad that others were so forthcoming about the use of alcholol and tarceva.
I was diagnosed 11/06, and started Tarceva 12/21. I didn't ask my doctor until 1/07 whether or not wine was ok basically because I didn't care. But then a friend asked for me and he said it was fine, in daily moderation.
So, Cheers, or Salute,

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My husband has been on Tarceva for 7 months now and is doing very well with it. He was diagnosed with BAC last Aug and had 4 small nodules removed from 4 different lobes in Sept 06. He has the occasional beer or 2 (or sometimes 3) every now and then. I'm also all for anything that can help him feel like his "old self" on this rollercoaster ride. He did, however, have a duodenal ulcer in March that just about did him in. We thought it might have been related to the Tarceva, but his docs all say that it wasn't. But it was another scary and life threatening thing to have happen on top of the scariest of all, which is lung cancer. He pulled through it fine and is back to feeling good. He's still on Tarceva and still enjoying his beer every now and then, and I still think that's fine. We need to keep living our lives and not let the beast take over completely. Hope this helps.


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Hi Lucky and all,

I had a pneumonectomy in June 2006 and naturally I've been short of breath ever since with good days and bad days. Like many of you, I've experienced a lot of anxiety, pain, fear and the always present shortness of breath.

While I'm not on Tarceva or other meds., I find a few Miller lights quite calming and relaxing in the evening. I also sleep like a log without sleeping pills or tranquilizers. Also --- I can breathe better !!!! Why is that ?

Cheers to all of you that enjoy a few . A toast to all and the LCA this evening.

God Bless,

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I think the reason you breath easier when you have a drink is because you relax more, after all it relaxes everything so go for it in moderation, I have it with a meal, a habit I aqquired in France I find that a 250ml glass of wine takes away my anxiety without making me legless, I never exceed this one glass a day and as it's red wine it has lots of antitoxidants in it (at least that's my excuse) I also find it helps my breathing probably because I feel less worried and can forget I'm breathing !!!

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When I was diagnosed with stage iv, my oncologist said he'd noted that I reported I drank a glass of wine with dinner. He said, most with tell you not to drink at all -- but something kept me healthy despite the stage iv, and that I shouldn't change too much what I'd been doing all along. He said to go ahead and enjoy a glass when I felt like it. After a bit, I didn't feel like it, then when I went from radiation/carboplatin/taxetere to gemzar, I included a glass now and then. On Irressa (another EFGR similar but not identical tarceve), I also enjoyed the wine now and then. A good source of information is a reliable pharmacist; ask, and if there is no identified problem, cushion your stomach, and enjoy. Best wishes, SharonS

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