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My name is Michelle and my mother is living with NSCLC. She was diagnosed in Dec. 2006 and though she continues to live she does not continue to thrive. Thanks to the drug Tarceva she shows no active growth but it seems that even 6months later she is just now developing some kind of skin rash that has her extremely sore and depressed, this and a continued IBS type of side effect keep her "down" and mostly she remains in bed trying to cope by sleeping to avoid it all. I am looking to find out how other people have found Traceva ,and what if anything they have found to help with the side effects that I mention here. Has anyone decreased the dose from 150mg daily and experienced stll, no growth but also lesser side effects?

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Hi Meeshy and welcome to this site. Glad to hear of your mom's success but sorry she is suffering from the side effects. I will be starting Tarceva soon and many others here are on it. I do know that my doc does adjust the dose without an impact on effectiveness to reduce side effects. Maybe that can be done for your mom. Please stick around and keep us posted on how you and your mom are doing.


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Hi Michelle , I've been taking Tarceva since 06. I started out 150's after a year went to 100's everyother day because of the side effects .I stayed stabled till acouple months ago now cavatation is happening something new but I'm still fighting . I use Lindi skin care face serum for the dryness and rash WWW.LINDISKIN.COM . It helps me but I know it don't help everyone. I'm sorry for your mother but tell her to hang in there.


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Hi Meeshy-

I have been on Tarceva for about a month now and am worried because I really don't have the typical side effects yet altho I began by being very proactive and using moisturizing products from day one.

My doc told me he would start me on the 150 and could decrease it if needed due to side effects.

Look under tests/updates and for my post called "the other shoe fell". Lots of people who are on Tarceva gave me lots of good info.

Hoping for the best for you and your mom. They do say when Tarceva works, it works well!!

Hugs - Patti B.

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Hi Michelle - My mom was on Tarceva/Avastin for about 18 months. She was taking 150 mgs for a year, but then started experiencing severe IBS symptoms like your mom. Her doctor said it was fine to stop taking the drug for 3 days or even a week to let the body bounce back. That really helped for a while. Eventually, she did have to drop to 100 mgs and then 50 mgs. All the side effects disappeared at 50 mgs. Unfortunately, she did progress, but she was stable on 50 mgs for several months, and none of the oncs she has seen (and she has seen five) thinks the progression has anything to do with the dosage reduction.

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Hi, Michelle:

Check here for a consolidated list of Tarceva posts at another great site, cancergrace.org:


Somewhere in that group is the link to my own Tarceva story:

http://cancergrace.org/forums/index.php ... 56#msg2856

Simultaneous with beginning Tarceva a year ago I also developed a case of shingles. Initially I thought it might be a Tarceva rash effect, but my family physician recognized the pattern and symptoms as being shingles and provided the appropriate treatment, which of course differed from what I was doing for the Tarceva rash. I wonder if something like that could be a possibility with your mom?

Tarceva caused me some increased heartburn/acid reflux, which I've gotten under control with diet (primarily by eliminating tomatoes). It's believed that taking strong antacids can interfere with the effectiveness of Tarceva. I do have some diarrhea 2 or 3 days each week, but it's been more of an inconvenience than a major problem.

Best wishes and Aloha,


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To all of you who have written, I give my heartfelt thanks. You have taught me about this connection and have given me strength to approach my Mom and have something to offer her. I printed your replies and suggestions/experiences and I brought her some of the items that I read about. It spurned thought and hope and a much needed lift of spirits. I continue to learn something everyday about people and Cancer, about me and my family and how to be. You have all made today a "good" day for us and I send my most positive vibes out to you. Today was great. Thank You.

By the way the 1% hydrocortisone with 12 moisturizers and aloe did appear to help her itching and she went to see her Doc about doxycycline.Aside to Ned, Aloha, my mom did infact have shingles not so long ago, on her face and her eye, she seemed to recover from that but these lesions do still appear like shingles, however they are over her face scalp torso shoulder, abdomen and upper thighs? I don't think that is shingles because of the growth pattern but it certainly looks herpetic.

She realated to me a helpful hint for those with diarrhea, try coconut macaroons, I don't know more than that yet but I am happy to spread whatever news I can. Once again, your responses have touched us all here and reminded me personally about the power of people.

More to come,


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