Afatinib Side Effects
Commonly reported side effects of afatinib include: diarrhea, abnormal hepatic function tests, acneiform eruption, skin rash, and erythema. Other side effects include: palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia, and renal insufficiency. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
For the Consumer
Applies to afatinib: oral tablet
In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by afatinib. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.
Major Side Effects
You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking afatinib:More common:
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- burning, dry, or itching eyes
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- discharge or excessive tearing
- frequent urge to urinate
- redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
- redness, swelling, or pain of the skin
- scaling of the skin on the hands and feet
- tingling of the hands and feet
- ulceration of the skin
- difficult breathing
If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking afatinib, get emergency help immediately:Symptoms of overdose:
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- lack or loss of strength
Minor Side Effects
Some of the side effects that can occur with afatinib may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:More common:
- Blemishes on the skin
- canker sores
- chapped, red, or swollen lips
- decreased appetite
- decreased weight
- dry skin
- itching skin or rash
- loosening of the fingernails
- redness or soreness around the fingernails
- runny nose
- scaling, redness, burning, pain, or other signs of inflammation of the lips
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or tongue or inside the mouth
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to afatinib: oral tablet
The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported were diarrhea (6.6%); vomiting (4.8%); and dyspnea, fatigue, and hypokalemia (1.7% each). Fatal adverse reactions included pulmonary toxicity/ILD-like adverse reactions (1.3%), sepsis (0.43%), and pneumonia (0.43%).
Dose reductions due to adverse reactions were required in 57% of patients. The most frequent adverse reactions that led to dose reduction were diarrhea (20%), rash/acne (19%), paronychia (14%), and stomatitis (10%).
Discontinuation of therapy for adverse reactions was 14.0%. The most frequent adverse reactions that led to discontinuation were diarrhea (1.3%), ILD (0.9%), and paronychia (0.9%).[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (96%), stomatitis (71%), cheilitis (12%)[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Acneiform rash/dermatitis (90%), paronychia (58%), dry skin (31%), pruritus (21%)[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Cystitis (13%)[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Alanine aminotransferase increased (11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Aspartate aminotransferase increased (8%)[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Decreased appetite (29%), weight decreased (17%)[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Conjunctivitis (11%)[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Pyrexia (12%)[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Epistaxis (17%), rhinorrhea (11%)[Ref]
1. "Product Information. Gilotrif (afatinib)." Boehringer Ingelheim, Ridgefield, CT.
Not all side effects for afatinib may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.
More about afatinib
- Other brands: Gilotrif
Related treatment guides
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