Lapatinib (Tykerb®)

OncoLink Team
Last Modified: January 6, 2016

Pronounced: la-PA-ti-nib

Classification: Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors About Lapatinib Lapatinib belongs to a class of drugs known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors are designed to block the action of a specific enzyme called tyrosine kinase. This enzyme plays a big role in the function of cells, and is active in cancer cells to promote tumor growth and progression. Lapatinib works to inhibit the function of two types of tyrosine kinases: epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and Her2. EGFR is over expressed in several types of tumors and Her2 is over expressed in about 25-30% of all breast cancers. By blocking the function of these tyrosine kinases, lapatinib may prevent cancer cells from dividing and growing. How to Take Lapatinib Lapatinib is taken in a tablet form, by mouth, once a day. The dose will consist of several tablets. It should be taken on an empty stomach, one hour before or one hour after a meal, with a full glass of water. Take lapatinib at around the same time every day. If you miss a dose, do not double the next dose to make up for the missed dose.The blood levels of this medication can be affected by certain foods and medications, so they should be avoided. These include: grapefruit, grapefruit juice, verapamil, ketoconazole, rifampin, phenytoin, St. John's wort, and modafanil. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you take. Storage and Handling

About Lapatinib (Tykerb®)

Lapatinib belongs to a class of drugs known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors are designed to block the action of a specific enzyme called tyrosine kinase. This enzyme plays a big role in the function of cells, and is active in cancer cells to promote tumor growth and progression. Lapatinib works to inhibit the function of two types of tyrosine kinases: epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and Her2. EGFR is over expressed in several types of tumors and Her2 is over expressed in about 25-30% of all breast cancers. By blocking the function of these tyrosine kinases, lapatinib may prevent cancer cells from dividing and growing.

Patients can develop an inflammation of the lungs (called pneumonitis) or interstitial lung disease while taking this medication. Notify your healthcare provider right away if you develop any new or worsening symptoms, including shortness of breath, trouble breathing, cough or fever.

Liver Toxicity

This medication can cause liver toxicity, which your doctor may monitor for using blood tests called liver function tests. Notify your healthcare provider if you notice yellowing of the skin or eyes, your urine appears dark or brown or pain in your abdomen, as these can be signs of liver toxicity.

Heart Problems

Lapatinib is known to cause cardiac (heart) dysfunction, including severe heart failure (congestive heart failure). Patients should have their heart function tested prior to starting this therapy and during therapy if any symptoms arise. If heart function decreases, lapatinib should be stopped. You should report to your healthcare team any symptoms of cardiac dysfunction, including: feeling like your heart is racing or pounding, dizziness, unusual tiredness, lightheadedness or shortness of breath.

Reproductive Concerns

Exposure of an unborn child to this medication could cause birth defects, so you should not become pregnant or father a child while on this medication. Effective birth control is necessary during treatment. Even if your menstrual cycle stops or you believe you are not producing sperm, you could still be fertile and conceive. You should consult with your healthcare team before breastfeeding while receiving this medication.

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