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    Information about Lapatinib

    Lapatinib uses

    Lapatinib is used in the treatment of breast cancer.

    How lapatinib works

    Lapatinib 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 lapatinib

    Nausea, Headache, Back pain, Breathing difficulty, Rash, Joint pain, Pain in extremity, Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping), Vomiting, Weakness, Abdominal pain, Indigestion, Loss of appetite, Fatigue, Diarrhea, Cough, Mucosal inflammation, Constipation, Hot flashes, Stomatitis (Inflammation of the mouth), Weight gain, Increased bilirubin in the blood, Liver damage
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Anuj Saini
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Lalit Kanodia
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    16 Jul 2019 | 05:12 PM (IST)
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    Read Our Editorial Policy

    Available Medicine for Lapatinib

    • ₹13350
      Glaxo SmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd
      1 variant(s)

    Expert advice for Lapatinib

    • Lapatinib is used for the treatment of thyroid cancer.
    • It should be taken 1 hour before or after the meal, preferably at the same time every day. 
    • Diarrhea may occur as a side effect. Drink plenty of fluids and inform your doctor if it doesn't stop or if you find blood in your stools.
    • 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 Lapatinib


    Q. Is Lapatinib a chemotherapy medicine?

    No, this is a targeted drug which belongs to a class of anti-cancer medicines. They are more specific than chemotherapy in their mechanisms of action. Lapatinib belongs to tyrosine kinase inhibitors group of medicines. It works by blocking the action of the abnormal protein that signals cancer cells to multiply. This helps stop or slow the spread of cancer cells.

    Q. Can Lapatinib be given in combination with other anti-cancer drug?

    Yes, Lapatinib can be used with other anti-cancer drugs. Generally, it is used in combination with capecitabine to treat advanced breast cancer in patients who have already been treated with chemotherapy. Lapatinib is also used with letrozole to treat breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

    Q. How should I take Lapatinib?

    You should take Lapatinib exactly as advised by your doctor. Swallow Lapatinib tablets whole with a glass of water, at the same time each day. It is important that you take Lapatinib 1 hour before or 1 hour after meals and at the same time in relation to food each day (e.g., you could always take your tablet one hour before breakfast).

    Q. Does Lapatinib have any effect on liver?

    Lapatinib may cause liver damage which can be severe or life threatening. Liver damage can occur as soon as several days or as late as several months after the start of treatment with Lapatinib. Inform your doctor if you have or had liver disease. If you experience any of the symptoms such as itching, change in color of the skin or eyes (yellowing), discoloration of urine, pain in the upper right part of the stomach, unusual bleeding or bruising, or pale or dark stools, call your doctor immediately.

    Q. How should I manage diarrhea while taking Lapatinib?

    If you suffer from diarrhoea while taking Lapatinib, you should drink plenty of fluids (8 to 10 glasses a day) such as water, sports drinks, or other clear liquids. You should eat low-fat, high protein foods instead of fatty or spicy foods. Eating cooked vegetables instead of raw vegetables and removing the skin from fruits before eating can also be helpful. Try to avoid milk and milk products (including ice cream) and herbal supplements (some may cause diarrhoea). Inform the doctor, if the condition persists, who may interrupt the treatment depending on severity of diarrhoea.

    Q. How can I take care of my skin while on Lapatinib?

    Your doctor will check your skin before and during treatment. In case of sensitive skin you should use a soap-free cleanser, fragrance free, hypoallergenic beauty products and sunscreen (Sun Protection Factor [SPF] 30 or higher). Inform your doctor if you develop a rash.

    Q. What tests will the doctor advise before starting Lapatinib?

    You may need extra tests to check that your heart and liver are working properly. Lapatinib may change the way your heart beats and pumps blood through your body. Your doctor will monitor you carefully to see whether Lapatinib has affected your heart. Along with that, your doctor will get your liver function investigated. Based on the results of these tests, the doctor will decide whether dose adjustment or discontinuation of treatment is required.

    Q. How long after Lapatinib can I plan pregnancy?

    Use an effective method of contraception to avoid pregnancy while you are taking Lapatinib and continue for at least 1 week after the last dose. Inform your doctor if you become pregnant, who will decide whether to stop or continue treatment.

    Content on this page was last updated on 16 July, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)