Afatinib, an Advanced NSCLC Lung Cancer Treatment

Non-small cell lung cancer—or NSCLC—is a type of lung cancer. There are several treatment options available to patients who have non-small cell lung cancer. One of these options for treating NSCLC is Afatinib, a drug that is also known by its brand name, Gilotrif.

What treatment option a doctor recommends to patients with NSCLC will depend on the characteristics of the patient’s lung cancer. In most cases, doctors will take a biopsy of the tumor to help them to determine the best treatment plan for the patient.

Afatinib is available via prescription only and can be used to treat patients with certain types of non-small cell lung cancer. This includes NSCLC that has spread to other parts of the body (called metastatic cancer), has specific non-resistant abnormal epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) genes, or has not previously been treated as metastatic lung cancer.

Being on Afatinib may make some patients’ skin more sensitive to the sun, so patients are advised to limit their time spent in the sun. Being in the sun for too long when on Afatinib may cause skin rashes or acne, as well as severe sunburn. Patients are advised to wear sunscreen along with a hat and other clothing that covers the skin.

Serious side effects of Afatinib include:

  • diarrhea
  • skin reactions
  • liver problems
  • lung or breathing problems
  • heart problems
  • eye problems

The most common side effects of Afatinib include:

  • rash
  • diarrhea
  • nail inflammation
  • mouth sores
  • acne
  • dry skin
  • nausea
  • decreased appetite
  • vomiting
  • itching

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Patients using Afatinib should speak to their doctors about any concerns or anything that they do not usually experience.

Being on Afatinib may also lower fertility in both males and females.

Talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional to find out if Afatinib is the right treatment option for you.

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