If you have a certain type of lung cancer, your doctor may prescribe Tagrisso. It’s used to treat specific kinds of non-small cell lung cancer in adults.

For more details about Tagrisso’s uses, see the “Is Tagrisso used for lung cancer?” section below.

Tagrisso basics

The active drug in Tagrisso is osimertinib. A generic version of the drug is not currently available.

Tagrisso is a tablet that you swallow.

“Continue reading to learn more about Tagrisso’s side effects.”

Tagrisso may cause mild or serious side effects. Some of the more common side effects of Tagrisso are described below. All possible side effects are not included in these lists.

Side effects of a drug can depend on other factors.

  • Your age.
  • You have other health conditions.
  • You take other drugs.

The doctor or the pharmacy can tell you more about the side effects of Tagrisso. They can suggest ways to reduce side effects.

Mild side effects

Here’s a short list of some of the mild side effects that Tagrisso can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Tagrisso’s prescribing information.

There are some mild side effects of Tagrisso.

The side effect focus section gives more information about this side effect.

The side effects of many drugs can be gone in a few days. If they become intolerable, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

There are serious side effects from Tagrisso, but they are not common. If you have serious side effects from Tagrisso, call your doctor. If you think you have a medical emergency, you should call the emergency number.

There have been serious side effects of Tagrisso.

  • eye problems, such as eye swelling, pain, or blurred vision
  • Skin reactions.
  • Your blood vessels are vessels for carrying blood.
  • White blood cells, or platelets, are very low.
  • lung problems, such as pneumonitis*
  • Cardiac side effects.
  • allergic reaction*

The side effect focus section gives more information about this side effect.

Side effect focus

There are some side effects Tagrisso may cause.

Skin rash

Some people may have a There is a skin rash. while taking Tagrisso. This was one of the most common side effects in the drug’s studies. This side effect is usually mild but can be severe in rare cases.

A There is a skin rash. may be itchy, bumpy, and appear red or discolored. It’s also common to have Dry skin. while taking Tagrisso, which can make It is itchy. worse.

What can help?

To help manage this side effect, there are a few different over-the-counter options. A medicated cream or ointment, such as hydrocortisone, may help ease the symptoms of a There is a skin rash. from Tagrisso. An oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or cetirizine (Zyrtec), can help relieve itching.

A rash is a side effect of Tagrisso and not an allergic reaction. It is important to tell your doctor about a rash or other skin reactions immediately.

Lung problems, such as pneumonitis

Tagrisso can cause lung problems, which are rare but possible. Lung problems have been reported.

These conditions may have symptoms.

  • cough
  • The breath was very thin.
  • breathing problems
  • There is a high degree of fever.

These side effects have been fatal in rare cases. If you have concerns about your risk of pneumonitis, talk to your doctor.

Tagrisso is used to treat lung cancer. Lung cancer causes some of the same symptoms as pneumonitis. You want to watch for any symptoms that get worse or feel different.

What can help?

If you have lung problems, tell your doctor right away. If your doctor discovers that you have ILD, they will stop you from taking Tagrisso. They will prescribe treatment for your lung condition.

Cardiac side effects

Tagrisso treatment may lead to serious cardiac (heart) problems. These problems include congestive heart failure (CHF) and long QT syndrome.

Tagrisso has been linked to fatal heart problems. If you are concerned about your risk of heart problems, talk to your doctor.

“Your heart can’t pump enough blood. Symptoms can include:”

  • It is a problem of tiredness.
  • dizziness
  • “It’s usually in your legs, feet or ankle.”
  • It may get worse during physical activity.
  • The breath was very thin. that worsens when you’re lying down

Long QT syndrome is a type of heart rhythm problem. Symptoms include:

  • dizziness
  • It feels like your heart is skipping a beat.
  • It was faint.

What can help?

Before taking Tagrisso, talk to your doctor about any heart problems you have. If your doctor determines that Tagrisso is safe for you to take, they will keep a close watch on you.

If you notice any symptoms of a heart problem, tell your doctor. If they find a new heart problem, they will likely stop you from taking Tagrisso.

Allergic reaction

Some people may have an allergic reaction to Tagrisso. This side effect wasn’t reported in the drug’s studies, but it’s still possible.

A mild allergic reaction can include some symptoms.

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause breathing problems.

If you have an allergic reaction to Tagrisso, call your doctor. If you think you have a medical emergency, call the emergency number.

Get answers to questions about Tagrisso.

What’s the usual life expectancy with Tagrisso treatment?

It varies. In studies, Tagrisso helped some people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) live longer than those taking certain other medications. The drug may also help extend amount of time a person lives with the disease before it gets worse.

“A person’s life expectancy can be affected by a number of factors. How advanced your cancer is, other medical conditions you may have, and how well your body tolerates cancer treatments are some of the factors that can be considered.”

If you have questions about what to expect, you should talk to your doctor.

Are there certain foods I should avoid during my Tagrisso treatment?

It is a good idea to avoid the juice of the two fruit while taking Tagrisso. The drug can interact with the fruit, which can cause side effects.

Some herbal teas or supplements may affect Tagrisso. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about consuming these products.

What type of drug is Tagrisso? Is it chemotherapy or immunotherapy?

Tagrisso is a type of therapy. It targets cancer cells that are different from how other drugs work.

“Chemotherapy drugs kill cells that are growing fast. Chemo drugs can’t tell the difference between cancer cells and healthy cells. This can cause many side effects.”

Your immune system can detect cancer cells. This helps your body fight cancer cells like it fights a bug or a viral infection.

If you have questions about how Tagrisso is different from other treatments, you should talk to your doctor.

How does Tagrisso work (what’s its mechanism of action)?

Tagrisso is a type of therapy. The drug targets certain genes on cancer cells. Tagrisso blocks the growth and spread of cancer cells when it is attached to these proteins.

How will I know if Tagrisso is working for me?

“Your doctor will order scans or other tests to check the effectiveness of your drug. You won’t be able to feel Tagrisso working on you.”

If your scans and tests show that the cancer is not growing or spreading, you will most likely keep taking Tagrisso. If your side effects are too bad to continue treatment, you could stop taking it sooner.

Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These factors include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use. To find current prices for 80-mg and 40-mg tablets of Tagrisso, visit WellRx.com.

If you have questions about paying for Tagrisso, including how much it may cost with insurance or its cost per month, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also visit the Tagrisso manufacturer’s website to see if they have support options.

You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.

Tagrisso is used to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in adults.

Tagrisso is used to treat lung cancer that is EGFR+). The cancer has a abnormality in a gene that affects a cell type called EGFR.

Your doctor will perform genetic testing to see if your cancer is a variant of the EGFR.

Tagrisso for stage 4 lung cancer

Tagrisso is used to treat EGFR+ NSCLC that’s metastatic. Metastatic cancer has spread from the lungs to other parts of the body. It’s an advanced stage of cancer that’s also called stage 4 cancer.

Tagrisso may be the first treatment for some people with stage 4 NSCLC. If you have tried other drugs and your cancer got worse, you may be able to take Tagrisso. Your doctor will determine if Tagrisso is right for you based on your specific type of lung cancer.

Tagrisso for early stage lung cancer

Tagrisso is used for the treatment of early stage EGFR+ NSCLC.

“Adjuvant treatment is used to help prevent cancer from coming back after surgery. The cancer hasn’t spread to other parts of the body, if you call it early stage.”

If your cancer has certain genes, Tagrisso may be prescribed.

Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Tagrisso that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.

Form and strengths

Tagrisso is a tablet that you swallow. It’s available in two strengths: 40 milligrams (mg) and 80 mg.

Recommended dosages

Tagrisso is taken once a day. You can take it at any time of day, but you should take it at the same time each day. This helps keep the drug in your body in a consistent level.

Questions about Tagrisso’s dosage

There are many questions about the Tagrisso.

  • What if I miss a dose of Tagrisso? If you miss a dose, you should skip the missed dose. Just take your next dose at the usual time. You should not take extra doses to make up for missing a dose. Doing so can raise your risk of side effects.
  • Will I need to use Tagrisso long term? Yes. If you and your doctor feel that Tagrisso is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term. For early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), you may take Tagrisso for up to 3 years after having surgery to remove your tumor. To treat metastatic NSCLC, you’ll likely continue taking Tagrisso as long as possible.
  • How long does Tagrisso take to work? Tagrisso starts working after you take your first dose. Throughout your treatment, your doctor will order various scans and tests to check how well the drug is working to treat your cancer. Your doctor can tell you more about these tests and how often you’ll need them.

When considering Tagrisso treatment, it is important to discuss your health, any medications you take, and any medical conditions you have with your doctor.

Interactions

Taking a medication with certain vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the medication works. These effects are called interactions.

Before taking Tagrisso, you should tell your doctor about all your medications. You should also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions that may occur.

Interactions with drugs or supplements

Tagrisso can interact with a lot of drugs. These drugs are used.

  • clarithromycin and rifampin are two antibiotics.
  • Carbamazepine is one of the seizure medications.
  • antiarrhythmics, such as amiodarone (Pacerone)
  • ondansetron (Zofran), a nausea drug
  • There are certain drugs that are used for treating certain mental illnesses.
  • “St. John’s wort is an herbal supplement.”

The list does not include all the drugs and supplements that may interact with Tagrisso. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the interactions that may occur with Tagrisso.

Other interactions

It is best to avoid both grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking Tagrisso. Consuming these products can increase your risk of side effects. Some herbal teas and supplements may interact with Tagrisso. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist before consuming any of these products.

Warnings

If you have a medical condition that affects your health, Tagrisso may not be right for you. Talk to your doctor about your health history. The factors to consider are listed below.

  • Heart problems. If you already have a heart condition, or if you have a high risk for heart problems (such as a heart attack) it may not be safe for you to take Tagrisso. This is because in rare cases, the drug may cause heart problems. If your doctor determines that your heart is healthy enough for you to take Tagrisso, they’ll likely monitor you closely during treatment.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Tagrisso or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Tagrisso. Ask them what other medications are better options for you.

Tagrisso and alcohol

It is safe to drink alcohol during your treatment.

If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor about how much you can safely consume.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Tagrisso is not safe to take during a pregnant period. The drug may cause fetal harm.

If you are able to become pregnant, your doctor will require you to take a pregnancy test. This is to confirm that you are not pregnant.

If you or your partner could become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re taking Tagrisso. Females* who can become pregnant should use birth control during Tagrisso treatment and for at least 6 weeks after treatment ends. Males* with a partner who can become pregnant should use birth control during treatment and for at least 4 months after their last dose.

“If you are breastfeeding, it may be unsafe to take Tagrisso. Tagrisso is not known if he passes into breast milk. If it does, a child who is exposed to Tagrisso through breast milk may have serious side effects. You shouldn’t breastfeeding during Tagrisso treatment and for at least 2 weeks after your last dose.”

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant, you should talk with your doctor before taking Tagrisso. They can discuss your treatment options with you.

* In this article, we use the terms “male” and “female” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.

“Your doctor will explain how Tagrisso works. They will explain how much to take and how often. Follow your doctor’s instructions.”

Taking Tagrisso

You will take Tagrisso by mouth once a day. It is best to take the drug at the same time each day. This helps keep the drug in your body in a consistent level.

Accessible medication containers and labels

“If you can’t read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies may provide medication labels.”

  • Have a large print.
  • Use the visual aids.
  • You can use a code on a phone to change the text into audio.

“If your current pharmacy doesn’t offer these options, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a new pharmacy.”

“If you have trouble opening your bottles, please let your doctor know. They may be able to put Tagrisso in a container. The drug’s container may be easier to open with the help of your pharmacist.”

Questions about taking Tagrisso

Some questions about taking Tagrisso are below.

  • Can Tagrisso be chewed, crushed, or split? No, you should swallow Tagrisso tablets whole. Do not chew, crush, or split them. But if you have trouble swallowing pills, a Tagrisso tablet can be dispersed (partly dissolved) in water using the following steps:
    • “The whole tablet should be placed in 60 liters of water. Don’t crush it.”
    • The water should be stirred until the tablets separate. It will not completely disappear.
    • Drink the mixture immediately. You can refill the glass with 120 to 240 liters of water and drink it immediately. This will make sure that you get your full dose.

A nasogastric tube can be used to take Tagrisso. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more.

  • Should I take Tagrisso with food? Tagrisso may be taken with or without food.

Questions for your doctor

You may have questions about your treatment. Discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Here are a few tips that might help you.

  • Before your appointment, write down questions such as:
    • How will Tagrisso affect me?
  • Bring someone with you to your appointment to make you feel more comfortable.
  • “If you don’t understand something, ask your doctor to explain it.”

“Your doctor and other healthcare professionals are available to help you. They want you to get the best care possible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or give feedback on your treatment”

“Don’t take more Tagrisso than your doctor tells you to. Side effects can be serious if you use more than this.”

What to do in case you take too much Tagrisso

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much Tagrisso. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room.

Tagrisso can be an effective treatment option for adults with certain types of lung cancer. If you’re considering this medication as a treatment option, don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have.

Here are some ideas to start the conversation.

  • Should I keep taking my other drugs when Tagrisso starts?
  • Do the side effects of tablets differ from tablets?
  • Is erlotinib a good option for me?
  • Is it safe to get vaccines while taking Tagrisso?

For an overview of lung cancer treatment options, see this article. You can also read this article for tips on balancing lung cancer treatment with your life.

Q:

Can Tagrisso cure my lung cancer?

Anonymous

A:

“Tagrisso can’t cure lung cancer. There is no cure for lung cancer.”

Tagrisso also isn’t meant to help you reach remission. (With remission, the signs of cancer partially or completely disappear after treatment. This is checked with certain tests.)

Instead, Tagrisso is meant to help slow the growth and spread of certain types of lung cancer. Studies have shown that Tagrisso can help some people live longer without their cancer growing or spreading.

You can read more about Tagrisso’s studies for metastatic and early lung cancer on the manufacturer’s website. You can also talk with your doctor for more information about what to expect from your Tagrisso treatment.

The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.