lapatinib (Tykerb)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is lapatinib, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Lapatinib is an oral medication used for treating breast cancer. Lapatinib is classified as a kinase inhibitor. Kinase inhibitors include

Kinase inhibitors prevent the growth of tumors by reducing the action of proteins that control cell division, growth and survival. These proteins usually are present in larger quantities or are more active in cancer cells. By reducing the activity of these proteins, growth and survival of cancer cells are reduced. The FDA approved lapatinib in March, 2007.

What brand names are available for lapatinib?


Is lapatinib available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for lapatinib?


What are the side effects of lapatinib?

Common side effects include:

Other side effects and adverse reactions include

  • Lapatinib may cause a type of abnormal heart rhythm called prolongation of the QT interval. Prolongation of the QT interval may lead to sudden death. ECGs should be obtained prior to starting lapatinib. Low potassium or low magnesium may increase the risk of QT prolongation. Therefore, low potassium and low magnesium should be corrected prior to starting treatment. Food and/or drugs that reduce the breakdown of lapatinib in the liver and/or medicinal products that prolong the QT interval may increase the risk of QT prolongation and should not be combined with lapatinib.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/5/2015

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