Afatinib belongs to a class of drug called kinase inhibitors. These kinds of drug slow and stop the growth of cancer cells. It specifically tends to treat a certain type of lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer) that has spread to other parts of the body.

This medication is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. Afatinib may also be used in other conditions to be determined by your doctor.

This drug is not recommended for pregnant women because it may harm unborn babies. Afatinib can make you more sensitive to the sun. Hence, limit your time in the sun or use sunscreens to protect your skin.

 Common side effects of this drug include:

  • Mouth sores
  • Pain, Redness or Swelling of Lips
  • Dry and Itchy Skin
  • Acne
  • Nose Bleed
  • Runny Nose
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Diarrhea

Notify your doctor promptly if any of these symptoms persist or worsen.

Symptoms of more serious side effects include:

  • Vision Changes
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Pain in the Eye
  • Severe Dizziness
  • Skin Infections
  • Bladder Infection
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Chest Pain
  • Severe Allergic  Reaction
  • Signs of Liver Damage such as Jaundice and Stomach Pain

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these serious side effects. Call your doctor if you experience other symptoms while using this drug.


Before taking this drug, tell your doctor or pharmacist:

  • If you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • If you are to undergo any surgical procedure.
  • If you are taking herbal, prescription and non-prescription drugs.
  • If you have certain medical conditions such as:
    • Kidney Problems
    • Liver Problems
    • Eye Disease (such as Severe Dry Eyes, Keratitis)

This drug may cause dizziness, drowsiness or blurred vision. Avoid activities requiring alertness or clear vision such as driving until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit the use of alcohol and certain other medications that cause drowsiness.



Drug interactions may either lessen the effectiveness of this drug or heighten the risk for severe side effects. It’s important to inform your doctor all the medication including prescription and non-prescription and herbal medicines you are taking or going to take.

Possible interactions with this drug are:

  • Rifamycins (such as Rifabutin)
  • John’s Wort
  • Phenytoin, Phenobarbital or other drugs used to treat seizures

Call emergency hotline if someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing.

Available brand/s:

  • Afatinib
  • Giotrif

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