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    Afatinib dimaleate

    Information about Afatinib dimaleate

    Afatinib dimaleate uses

    Afatinib dimaleate is used in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. It is used in treatment of adult patients who have certain EGFR mutations.

    How afatinib dimaleate works

    Afatinib dimaleate is an anti-cancer medication. It works by blocking the action of the abnormal protein that signals cancer cells to multiply. This helps to stop or slow the spread of cancer cells.

    Common side effects of afatinib dimaleate

    Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Itching, Rash, Stomatitis (Inflammation of the mouth), Loss of appetite, Dry skin, Decreased appetite, Nail disorder
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Arpit Bhatnagar
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Shilpa Garcha
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    15 Jul 2019 | 04:33 PM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

    Available Medicine for Afatinib dimaleate

    • ₹13724 to ₹16517
      Boehringer Ingelheim
      4 variant(s)

    Expert advice for Afatinib dimaleate

    • You have been prescribed Afatinib dimaleate for the treatment of certain type of lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer). 
    • Take Afatinib dimaleate on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal. 
    • Diarrhea is common with Afatinib dimaleate and may sometimes be severe. Your doctor may prescribe medicines to treat diarrhea. Stay hydrated and take this medicine exactly as directed. 
    • Afatinib dimaleate can make your skin sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing if you have to be in sunlight.
    • Afatinib dimaleate can cause redness, rash, and acne. Get treatment for skin reactions as soon as you notice them.
    • Use a reliable contraceptive method to prevent pregnancy while you are taking this medicine and for a month after you stop taking it.
    • Monitor your blood pressure regularly while taking this medication. Inform your doctor if you notice symptoms of very high blood pressure such as severe headache, confusion, problems with your eyesight, nausea or vomiting.
    • It may cause serious bleeding problem. Inform your doctor if you get headaches, stomach pain or if you notice blood in your urine or stools.
    • Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant, planning to conceive or breastfeeding.

    Frequently asked questions for Afatinib dimaleate

    Afatinib dimaleate

    Q. Is Afatinib dimaleate an immunotherapy or chemotherapy?

    Afatinib dimaleate is neither an immunotherapy nor a conventional chemotherapy. It belongs to kinase inhibitors class of anti-cancer medicines. It works by blocking a group of proteins. These proteins are known to be involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. By blocking the activity of these proteins, Afatinib dimaleate stops the cancer cells from growing and multiplying.

    Q. How long does it take for Afatinib dimaleate to work?

    The peak levels of Afatinib dimaleate are reached 2-5 hours after taking it. However, it may take weeks or months to see a noticeable change in the progression of cancer. The symptoms may improve visibly, but the effectiveness of Afatinib dimaleate can be confirmed only after determining certain parameters.

    Q. How should I take Afatinib dimaleate?

    Afatinib dimaleate is taken by mouth without food, at least 1 hour before or 3 hours after meals. Swallow the complete tablet with water without crushing or breaking it. Take this medicine once daily at about the same time each day. This will make it easier to remember to take this medicine. If you have difficulty in swallowing the tablet, dissolve it in a glass of water. Do not use any other liquid instead of water. Drop the tablet into the water without crushing it and stir occasionally for up to 15 minutes until the tablet is broken up into very small particles. Drink the liquid straight away. Then refill the glass with water and drink it to make sure all medicine is taken.

    Q. Does Afatinib dimaleate have any effect on fertility?

    Afatinib dimaleate may decrease fertility in both men and women Therefore, if you have any concerns regarding fertility, talk to your doctor who might suggest sperm or egg preservation before starting treatment.

    Q. Can Afatinib dimaleate be given along with chemotherapy?

    There are no supporting studies to suggest that Afatinib dimaleate can be used along with other chemotherapy medicines. Afatinib dimaleate is used to treat specific type of lung cancer when the prior chemotherapy has been insufficient.

    Q. Can Afatinib dimaleate cure lung cancer?

    No, Afatinib dimaleate cannot cure lung cancer, but it prolongs the survival of the patient. It may also reduce the size of the tumor.

    Q. What should I avoid while taking Afatinib dimaleate?

    You should avoid sun exposure as Afatinib dimaleate can make your skin sensitive to the sun. You may get a severe sunburn or may develop rash or acne or it may get worsened. Therefore, use sunscreen and wear a hat before moving out in the sun. Wear clothes that cover your skin if you have to go out in the sun.

    Q. Can I do something if I get diarrhea due to Afatinib dimaleate?

    Diarrhea is a very common side effect of Afatinib dimaleate. Severe diarrhea can cause excessive loss of body fluids (dehydration) and kidney problems that can sometimes lead to death. Start drinking plenty of fluids at the first signs of diarrhea and contact your doctor immediately. The doctor will start the appropriate antidiarrheal treatment (e.g. loperamide) as soon as possible. The doctor may also reduce your dose or discontinue the therapy if you develop severe diarrhea.

    Content on this page was last updated on 15 July, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)