Before taking erlotinib,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to erlotinib, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in erlotinib tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: angiogenesis inhibitors such as bevacizumab (Avastin); anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); certain antifungals such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), posaconazole (Noxafil), and voriconazole (Vfend); boceprevir (Victrelis); carbamazepine (Tegretol); ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Proquin XR); clarithromycin (Biaxin); conivaptan (Vaprisol); HIV protease inhibitors such as atazanavir (Reyataz), indinavir (Crixivan), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir), and saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase); H2 blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), nizatidine (Axid), and ranitidine (Zantac); medications for acne such as benzoyl peroxide (in Epiduo, in BenzaClin, in Benzamycin, others); midazolam (Versed): nefazodone; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); oral steroids such as dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Deltasone); phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); phenytoin (Dilantin); proton pump inhibitors such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix), and rabeprazole (AcipHex); rifabutin (Mycobutin); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); rifapentine; taxane medications for cancer such as docetaxel (Taxotere) and paclitaxel (Abraxane, Taxol); telithromycin (Ketek); teriflunomide (Aubagio); and troleandomycin (TAO) (not available in the U.S.). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with erlotinib, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
if you are taking antacids, take them several hours before or several hours after you take erlotinib.
tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John's wort.
tell your doctor if you are being treated or have recently been treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy (treatment for cancer that uses waves of high energy particles to kill cancer cells). Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had lung disease or infection, stomach ulcers, diverticular disease (condition in which abnormal pouches form in the large intestine and may become inflamed), or liver or kidney disease.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while you are taking erlotinib and for at least 1 month after your final dose. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that you can use. If you become pregnant, call your doctor immediately. Erlotinib may harm the fetus.
tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with erlotinib and for up to 2 weeks after your final dose.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking erlotinib.
tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this medication.
plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear a hat, other protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 and contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Exposure to sunlight increases the risk that you will develop a rash during your treatment with erlotinib.
you should know that erlotinib may cause rashes and other skin problems. To protect your skin, use a mild alcohol-free moisturizer, wash your skin with mild soap, and remove cosmetics with a mild cleanser.