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Recurrent UTIs


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Hi all, this is a Q for TKI takers generally, and maybe Tagrisso takers specifically. Did you experience or hear about recurrent UTIs associated with these medications? I asked my oncologist today and he said it is not an established link but googling returns lots of stories about that from patients.

I am sadly dealing with my second UTI just mere weeks after getting over the first one. These UTIs started after I started taking Tagrisso (only had one UTI my entire 49 years before this). Tag is leading to terrible diarrhea for me, almost daily. I assume the Tag > diarrhea > UTI is the logical explanation. It is so miserable and I just started another round of Macrobid to try and stomp the infection. I am though horrified if this will be my life from now on. I took precautions (hygiene, lots of water) but it seems futile. Maybe it is the cranky side of me tonight but this sucks big time. The oncologist started talking about reducing Tag dose to lessen side effects (which likely is less effective Tag) and I am angry since I don't want to stop or reduce Tag but I need to side effects to get better. I am venting agin, ain't I? 

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Oddly, in 2005 I was treated with a combination chemotherapy including the now common targeted therapy drug Tarceva. This was well before biomarkers were discovered and before the medical community recognized Tarceva only works for certain forms of adenocarcinoma. My NSCLC is squamous cell and Tarceva in combination with Taxol and carboplatin produced only the nastiest of side effects including very troubling diarrhea. 

In an online cancer forum, now long shuttered, I encountered someone who was taking Tarceva in combination chemo. He told me he started each day with a plain bowl of steamed rice. He stressed it needed to be unaltered rice, not the Uncle Ben's type of converted rice, and it had to be devoid of flavorings. I first discounted this a pseudoscience, but then when Tarceva was ignoring all prescribed and over-the-counter medications, I tried it as a last resort. It worked. Every morning if I started each days with a plain bowl of rice and then went on to eat simply throughout the day, I did not suffer diarrhea. You might try it. I hope it works.

Stay the course.


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Lots of Tagrisso folks adhere to a BRAT diet. And I personally think that consuming dairy without a Lactase enzyme causes problems. 

I don't think I've heard any complaints about UTIs. However, if your side effects are intolerable, ask your oncologist about reducing your dosage to 40 mg. This has to be done with a new prescription, you cannot cut the pills in half. I know of many people who've had success with the reduced dosage. Maybe you can give your system a rest and try to increase the dosage later. 

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I just learned that prominent EGFR Resister Annabelle Gurwitch (who is on Tagrisso for Stage IV lung cancer) has had ongoing UTIs for 1.5 years and is switching to a new gynecologist. She may post here but she definitely posts on the Facebook group EGFR Resisters Lung Cancer Patient Group. I've asked her to let us know what her new doctor says. 

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