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Osimertinib

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Tagrisso Cancer-related

Osimertinib - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Osimertinib cause?

Common side effects include:

  • Decreased appetite
    • Take small, frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Diarrhoea
    • Drink plenty of clear fluids to replace those lost (2 litres everyday).
    • Avoid oily or spicy food and milk or dairy products.
  • Skin rash (may be acne-like), dry skin, itch
    • Moisturize your skin daily.
    • Avoid too much exposure to the sun as it may make the rash worse. Use sunscreen and covered clothing if you need to be under the sun for a long period of time.
  • Nail changes – ridges (uneven surface), discolouration or redness and tenderness around the nail folds
    • Keep your nails trimmed, clean and dry.
    • Avoid contact with harsh chemicals e.g. detergent or dish-washing liquids. Wear gloves when you are doing household chores.
  • Mouth sores
    • Rinse your mouth after meals using alcohol-free mouthwash or salt water.
    • Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush.
  • Feeling tired or lack of energy
    • Do not drive or operate machinery when you feel tired.

Rare but serious side effects include:

  • Very bad diarrhoea (e.g. more than 4 times a day) that does not improve even after taking medications used to stop diarrhoea
  • Sudden onset of cough, chest pain or shortness of breath, with fever
  • Severe eye discomfort, sensitivity to light, blurred eyesight
  • Fast or abnormal heartbeat, chest pain, swelling of the hands and feet, or sudden weight gain
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising or black sticky stools
  • Fever of 38° C and above, especially with chills, pain or difficulty in passing urine

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Osimertinib, what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication
  • You or your partner becomes pregnant or is planning for pregnancy. You should use effective birth control during and for at least
    • 4 months after stopping Osimertinib (for men)
    • 6 weeks after stopping Osimertinib (for women)
  • You are breastfeeding
    • Do not breastfeed during treatment
  • You have any other medical conditions such as heart problems or eye problems

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Osimertinib?

​Avoid taking grapefruit when you are taking this medication as grapefruit may interact with your medication and increase the risk of side-effects.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking or intend to take any other medication, supplements, traditional medications or herbal remedies. Some of these may affect how Osimertinib works.

Osimertinib - Additional Information

​You may refer to the following website if you need more information: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/

  • Updated on Monday, September 30, 2019
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

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