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Generic Name: lapatinib (la PA tin ib)
Brand Names: Tykerb
Tykerb is used together with Xeloda to treat advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Learn about side effects, interactions and indications.
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Drug Information:
Tykerb (lapatinib) is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Tykerb is used to treat a certain type of hormone-related breast cancer that has progressed or spread after treatment with other cancer medicines. In postmenopausal women, Tykerb is given in combination with a hormonal medicine called Femara (letrozole). In others, Tykerb is given together with a cancer medicine called Xeloda (capecitabine). Do not use Tykerb if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Learn more

Tykerb Side Effects

Tykerb Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about lapatinib. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Tykerb.

For the Consumer

Applies to lapatinib: oral tablet


Oral route (Tablet)

Hepatotoxicity, which may be fatal or severe, has been observed in clinical trials and postmarketing experience. Causality of the deaths is uncertain.

Along with its needed effects, lapatinib (the active ingredient contained in Tykerb) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking lapatinib:

Less common

  • Difficult or labored breathing
  • fainting
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • severe diarrhea
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness


  • Abdominal or stomach pain or tenderness
  • clay colored stools
  • dark urine
  • decreased appetite
  • fever
  • headache
  • itching or skin rash
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • yellow eyes or skin

Incidence not known

  • Blistering, peeling, loosening of the skin
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • hives
  • joint or muscle pain
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • thickening of bronchial secretions

Some side effects of lapatinib may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • back pain
  • belching
  • cracked lips
  • diarrhea (mild)
  • dry skin
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • pain in the arms or legs
  • redness, swelling, or painful skin
  • scaling of the skin on the hands and feet
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips, tongue, or the inside of the mouth
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • tingling of the hands and feet
  • trouble sleeping

Incidence not known

  • Loosening of the fingernails
  • redness or soreness around the fingernails

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to lapatinib: oral tablet


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (77%), nausea (44%), vomiting (26%), stomatitis (14%), dyspepsia (11%), constipation, abdominal pain


Very common (10% or more): Neutropenia (77%), hemoglobin lab abnormality (56%), leukopenia (53%), anemia (23%), neutrophils lab abnormality (22%), platelets lab abnormality (18%), decreased hemoglobin (10%)


Very common (10% or more): Rash (including dermatitis acneiform, 59%), Palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (53%), alopecia (13%), dry skin (13%), pruritus (12%), nail disorders (including paronychia, 11%)

Frequency not reported: Serious cutaneous reactions


Very common (10% or more): AST lab abnormality (53%), ALT lab abnormality (46%), total bilirubin lab abnormality (45%), increased ALT (11%), hyperbilirubinemia

Common (1% to 10%): Hepatotoxicity


Very common (10% or more): Decreased appetite (32%), anorexia (11%)


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (22%), mucosal inflammation (15%), asthenia


Very common (10% or more): Myalgia (14%), pain in extremity (12%), back pain (11%), arthralgia


Very common (10% or more): Dyspnea (12%), cough (10%), epistaxis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Interstitial lung disease/pneumonitis


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (10%)


Very common (10% or more): Hot flush

Common (1% to 10%): Decreased left ventricular ejection fraction

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Peripheral neuropathy

Common (1% to 10%): Headache


Rare (less than 0.1%): Hypersensitivity reactions (including anaphylaxis)

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Tykerb