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Problems with Tarceva


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As I had posted before, I began Tarceva Dec 24. The rash showed up in a couple days, rather mild at first and then, BANG. As Beth so vividly described all hell broke loose. Huge throbbing sores on my head, face and chest. Severe stomach cramps with diahhrea and the straw that broke the camels back, a horrific cough, almost to the point of convulsions. Took my last one Sat, Jan 1. Called the ONC Monday and he gave me meds for the rash etc and wants to wait a couple weeks to clear this up and continue on a lower dosage. Started on 150, probably go to 100. That will work out since I have angioplasty sked for Jan 14 to fix a partially clogged artery. Wow, what a weekend that was. I was surprised since I handled the other chemo so well. I guess we handle each one differently. Oh well, onwards and upwards. Thought I'd share this in hopes that it may be of some benefit to someone.


4/07/04 dxd stage III/IV B NSCLC Adeno Carcinoma with malignant pleural effusion. 3.5cm mass on right lung with psbl mets to left lung.

5/07/04 began chemo gemzar/carbo.

6/11/04 CT some shrinkage

7/23/04 CT Stable

8/27/04 Last Chemo. Three month break

9/03/04 CT Stable

12/02/04 CT Suspicious

12/14/04 Started Iressa

12/22/04 Off Iressa, started Tarceva (Resulting from manufacturer ltr)

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I hate to hear about those horrible side effects from Tarceva. Wayne started on Tarceva 3 weeks ago and only a little rash on his face which is clearing up. However, he is still has extreme fatigue and is in bed much of the day. His last chemo and radiation treatments were about 4 weeks ago and I was hoping he would get some strength back. I see that Tarceva also causes fatigue. He's taking 150mg.

I just read some info on Tarceva and see that it should be taken on an empty stomach which is something we have not been doing. Wayne is on a feeding tube almost continuously so it's difficult to have his stomach totally emply.


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Hi TAnn - Great news on being stable, the magic word. Hope and pray Tarceva treats you better than it has me, but I am a long way from giving up on it. My ONC said it appeared to have worked for me but the rash and cough were too much. Taking a few weeks off from it and then back with a lower dosage. Hang tough and God Bless.


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