Afatinib is the generic name for the trade drug Gilotrif™. In some cases, health care professionals may use the trade name Gilotrif™ when referring to the generic drug name afatinib.
Afatinib is a targeted therapy. Afatinib is classified as a Tyrosine Kinase inhibitor; Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) inhibitor. (For more detail, see "How this drug works," below.)
What Afatinib Is Used For:
- Afatinib is used to treat metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has certain EGFR mutations (exon 19 deletion/exon 21 substitution) as detected by an FDA-approved test.
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.
How Afatinib Is Given:
- Afatinib is a pill, taken by mouth.
- Take afatinib on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
- Take afatinib exactly as prescribed.
- Swallow afatinib tablets whole with at least 8 ounces of water. Do not crush or dissolve tablets.
- Do not change your dose or stop afatinib unless your health care provider tells you to.
- If you miss a dose and your next dose is due in: Less than 12 hours, take your next dose at the normal time. Do not make up the next dose.
- 12 hours or more, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Take your next dose at the normal time.
- Do not take more than 1 dose of afatinib at one time. Call your health care provider and go to the emergency room right away if you take too much.
- Store at room temperature (68° F to 77° F); keep medication in original bottle; protect from high humidity, moisture and light.
- Keep out of reach from children and pets.
- Safely throw away any afatinib that is out of date or unused (ask your provider for directions on how to discard the medication).
- The amount of afatinib that you will receive depends on many factors, including your general health or other health problems, and the type of cancer or condition you have. Your doctor will determine your exact afatinib dosage and schedule.
Afatinib Side Effects:
Important things to remember about the side effects of afatinib:
- Most people will not experience all of the afatinib side effects listed.
- Afatinib side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, duration, and severity.
- Afatinib side effects are almost always reversible and will go away after therapy is complete.
- Afatinib side effects may be quite manageable. There are many options to minimize or prevent the side effects of afatinib.
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