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Had a Petscan yesterday, saw my Ocologist today. She recommended 36 rouds of Radiation and Tarceva.

Have read all about the side effects, rash, diarrhea etc.

The Nurse called the presscription to my Pharmacy and said, it is 4,ooo Dollars per month, but Medicare Part B will cover it. It is considered like you would have Chemo here.

The Pharmacy told me Part D would cover it and have to call my Part D first to get it approved.

I know that many of you have taken Tarceva and maybe some of you are on Medicare Part A & B

One more Question. How long can you take Tarceca ?

And are the rashes all the time? Is it very bothersome.

Thanks, any input is appreciated


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I really don't know much about medicare, but I do believe that the nurse was wrong and the pharmacy was right, it is part D as it is an oral med taken at home, not an IV taken in the doctor's office. But don't quote me.

My sister has been on Tarceva since February of 2008. She was very sensitive to the toxicity of it. The rash wasn't that bad in that it wasn't constant. But she had mouth sores that kept her from eating and diarrhea that we couldn't control with any meds. That summer we reduced to a pill for 2 days and 1 day off, which yields the equivalent of 100 mg a day rather than 150 mg a day (the labeled dose). By September we took her off of it due to the toxicity. She went back on in October at 50 mg a day and has been on that ever since. Each scan has been a bit better than the last, so at this point, she'll keep taking it until the scans are no longer good.

Her insurance co-pay for Tarceva is $100 a month.

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Renate, cat127 and the pharmacy are right, and the nurse is wrong. Tarceva is a take-at-home prescription med, and it falls under your Medicare Part D plan. The amount of your monthly co-pay would be determined by the particular plan, and can vary widely.

I know some people who responded exceptionally well to Tarceva and have been (or were) on it for 2 or 3 years or even longer, but they are in the minority. The average is probably a year or somewhat less, but that's just a guess on my part. I was on it for 16 months before tumor progression indicated a change was needed.

Actually, the presence of a rash (which typically starts in about a week) is a good thing, because it suggests the medication is working. If the rash is severe, the dosage can usually be reduced without diminishing its effectiveness, since there's a good chance those people are unusually sensitive to it. But, it's not a 100% correlation, as some people respond well with no rash, and some get no benefit in spite of a severe rash. Here are 3 good references to check out:


http://cancergrace.org/forums/index.php ... 04#msg2904

http://cancergrace.org/forums/index.php ... 70#msg3170


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I'm sorry, I don't know anything about Medicare. My husband has been on Tarceva for about 10 days now and has a grade 3 rash. Its all over his face, head, back, shoulders. He has pimple looking things all over his upper body along with the rash. If he accidentally scratches something it bleeds. He was miserable for a day or so but we think that him being in the sun (for a whopping 10 minutes) exhasberated things and now he isn't so miserable.

We went to the oncologist yesterday and everyone was very pleased with the rash. The oncologist says "the uglier you get the happier we get". So hopefully his discomfort will be worth it. We did get a script for a topical ointment and an oral antibiotic that will hopefully reduce the rash.

If the rash gets super unbareable they said they would quit the Tarceva for a couple days then start at a lower dose.

Also, the rash seems to be different for everyone. I know a lady that is doing really well on Tarceva and didn't get a rash at all.

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Hi Renate,

I was on Tarceva for about 7 months and had good success until it stopped working. I developed diarrhea and the rash. Lowered the dosage from 150MG to 100MG and that cleared up the diarrhea. The rash I only had for a short (and was not bad) period and it went away by itself. I never bought into one has to have side effects in order for treatments to work. We have had members with severe side effects and it did not work and members who had no/ or very limited side effects and it did work. Everyone is different and reacts differently, one never know until one tries-- keep the faith. One member who started on Tarceva in 2005 and I believe is still on it. Also keep in mind one can lower the dosage and still have good results. Hope this helps, prayers for the best.


http://www.tarceva.com/patient/index.jsp (Tarceva WebSite)

Genentech Patient Resource Center

Speak to a live operator today and receive more information about Tarceva; call 877-TARCEVA (877-827-2382)

Hours Available:

M-F 6am-5pm PST

http://www.gene.com/gene/products/infor ... ribing.pdf (HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION - From There Website)

Note: Skin reactions may occur or worsen in sun exposed areas; therefore, the use of sunscreen or avoidance of sun exposure is


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