Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor
Uses For neratinib
Neratinib is used to treat patients with HER2-overexpressed or amplified breast cancer that has been previously treated with trastuzumab. It belongs to the group of medicines, called antineoplastics.
Neratinib interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed. Since the growth of normal cells may also be affected by the medicine, other unwanted effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor.
Neratinib is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using neratinib
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For neratinib, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to neratinib or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of neratinib in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of neratinib in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have serious unwanted effects (including kidney problems, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration), which may require caution in patients receiving neratinib.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking neratinib, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using neratinib with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- St John's Wort
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using neratinib with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use neratinib, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
- Grapefruit Juice
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of neratinib. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Dehydration or
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
- Kidney disease—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
- Liver disease—Use with caution. May make this condition worse.
Proper Use of neratinib
Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before using neratinib, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
Take neratinib exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
Neratinib comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
You will be given medicines to help prevent diarrhea (including loperamide) during your first dose of neratinib. Continue taking these medicines for 2 cycles (56 days) of treatment with neratinib. Keep the number of your bowel movements at 1 to 2 per day and take anti-diarrhea medicines only as directed by your doctor.
Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it. Take the medicine with food and at the same time each day.
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using neratinib.
The dose of neratinib will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of neratinib. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For breast cancer:
- Adults—At first, 240 milligrams (mg) (6 tablets) taken at the same time each day for 1 year. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For breast cancer:
If you miss a dose of neratinib, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using neratinib
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure neratinib is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using neratinib while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment with neratinib and for at least 1 month after your last dose. Male patients who have female partners should use effective birth control during treatment with neratinib and for 3 months after the last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while using neratinib, tell your doctor right away.
Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
Neratinib may cause severe diarrhea, which may lead to serious complications, including dehydration, low blood pressure (hypotension), or kidney failure. Your doctor will give you medicines to help prevent diarrhea during treatment with neratinib. If you have any questions about this or if diarrhea continues, or gets worse, check with your doctor.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.
Neratinib Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- decreased urination
- dry mouth
- increase in heart rate
- rapid breathing
- sunken eyes
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- wrinkled skin
- Bloody urine
- increased blood pressure
- increased thirst
- itching, pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, or warmth on the skin
- loss of appetite
- lower back or side pain
- raised, firm, bright red patches of skin on the arm or leg
- stomach pain
- swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs
- troubled breathing
- weight gain
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- bladder pain
- bloody nose
- bloody or cloudy urine
- decreased appetite
- decreased weight
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- discoloration of the fingernails or toenails
- dry skin
- frequent urge to urinate
- muscle spasms
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
- swelling or inflammation of the mouth
- Deep cracks, grooves, or lines in the skin
- dry mouth
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about neratinib
- Neratinib Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
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