Giotrif 40 mg (afatinib 40 mg) contains the active substance afatinib (as afatinib dimaleate). Giotrif 40 mg (afatinib 40 mg) belongs to a group of medicines called antineoplastic (or anti-cancer) agents. It works by blocking the activity of a group of proteins from the ErbB family, which includes a protein called Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR). These proteins are known to be involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. By blocking the activity of these proteins Giotrif 40 mg (afatinib 40 mg) stops the cancer cells from growing and multiplying. Giotrif 40 mg (afatinib 40 mg) is used to treat adult patients with a type of lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) identified with a change (mutation) in the EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) gene. Giotrif 40 mg (afatinib 40 mg) can be prescribed to you as initial cancer therapy or if your cancer has progressed after receiving chemotherapy.
How to take Giotrif 40 mg (afatinib 40 mg)
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet. If you do not understand the instructions on the box, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How much to take
The recommended dose is one tablet of Giotrif 40 mg (afatinib 40 mg) 40 mg each day. Your doctor may adjust (increase or decrease) your dose in 10 mg steps depending on how well you tolerate Giotrif 40 mg (afatinib 40 mg).
If you get severe diarrhoea or other intolerable side effects, your doctor may interrupt your treatment with Giotrif 40 mg (afatinib 40 mg) and then re-start your treatment at a lower dose.
How to take it
Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water. Do not chew or crush the tablets. For patients with swallowing difficulties the tablet can be dissolved in drinking water (noncarbonated). No other liquids should be used.
Follow these instructions carefully:
Drop the tablet into half a glass of drinking water (non-carbonated) (Do not break or crush the tablet)
Stir the water occasionally for up to 15 minutes until the tablet is broken up into very small particles
Drink the liquid straight away
Rinse the empty glass with half a glass of drinking water and drink it. When to take it Take your medicine at about the same time each day.
Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take it.
Take your medicine on an empty stomach. Do not eat for at least 3 hours before taking your medicine and at least 1 hour after taking your medicine. Food can interfere with the absorption of this medicine.
How long to take it
Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you. If you forget to take it If it is less than 8 hours before your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your medicine as you would normally. Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed. This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect. If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist. If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Giotrif 40 mg (afatinib 40 mg).
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
skin reactions such as acne-like rash, sometimes itchy with dry skin
mouth sores and inflammation
problems with your nails
loss of appetite or weight changes
bleeding from the nose
pain, redness swelling or peeling of the skin of your hands and feet
burning sensations during urination and frequent, urgent need to urinate
abnormal taste sensations
stomach pain, indigestion, heartburn
Giotrif 40 mg (afatinib 40 mg) may be associated with changes in your blood, urine or liver test results. Your doctor may want to perform tests from time to time to check on your progress and detect any unwanted side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
diarrhoea (usually occurs within the first 2 to 6 weeks of treatment)
any signs and symptoms of dehydration such as headache, dizziness, tiredness or decreased urine output
severe skin reactions such as peeling or blistering of the skin
sudden or worse eye problems such as irritated, red, runny or itchy eyes, blurred vision, swollen or crusty eyelid, or dry eye
a combination of any of the following: breathlessness, swelling of the feet, ankles, legs or stomach, feeling tired, a feeling like your heart is racing or throbbing.