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How to relieve some Tarceva side effects

Mommy's girl

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    This is my second time to post here. The first thread I started did not generate as much response, probably because my mom's case is a bit unique.

     Ok to back track a bit. I'm the primary caregiver of my mom who was diagnosed with Stage 4 NSCLC on March 3rd. She had pleural effusion on her left lung that needed to be drained. The fluid that was removed was sent for testing and came back positive for adenocarcinoma. More testing was done and about a month later the results came back positive for an egfr mutation that made my mom a good candidate for Tarceva. 

     She started taking it on April 13th. We're a bit anxious about the side effects because my mom, who is 78, is suffering from a host of other medical issues. She has end stage renal disease dialyzing 3 times a week, is a diabetic, hypertensive, and anemic. I was hoping that there's someone in this forum who is in a similar sutuation as her who could share his/her experiences with us, but so far no such luck has come to us. 

     This time I'm hoping I could get replies from forum members who are taking Tarceva on how they coped with the side effects. I would like to know what they did to relieve themselves of this dry cough and scratchy throat that's been my mom's main complaint so far. I know the side effects vary from person to person but I'm curious if NSCLC sufferers have general similarities in their side effects from this targeted therapy. Also, does Tarceva have a life span when it comes to efficacy? 

     I have so many other questions because this is the first time someone in the family was diagnosed with this disease, but right now getting answers is more important. Thank you so much for taking time to read my post. 


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Dear Taxmeless, 

    Thank you so much for sharing this link. It did make my day! Somehow I got an idea about how others with NSCLC are being affected by this medication. I hope and pray my mom will respond positively to Tarceva as well. 

    There aren't many, though, that reported dry, hacking cough and itchy throat. This coughing is particularly severe at night, causing the entire family to lose precious sleep. Her oncologist prescribed a medication and a throat spray to relieve her, but they're not working. I'm still looking for a way to relieve her of this side effect. 

    Initial reactions are constipation, slight skin itching, weakness, nausea, and weight loss. She's still eating well, but keeps losing weight. 

   Next month she's going in for PET and CT scans. I hope Tarceva will work miracles for my mom. 

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I was on Tarceva for six years, the best relief from the rash is Eucerin Cream Original. For stomach issues I took my Tarceva in the middle of night, I also took Imodium and probiotics daily. We have a targeted therapy and EGRF group on Facebook sponsored by Lungevity. Good luck, Don

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