Tykerb is commonly prescribed for treating breast cancer. The drug helps to slow down the growth of cancer cells by binding to receptors inside them. Unlike other cancer medications, Tykerb comes in tablet form. Potential side effects include diarrhea, nausea, and insomnia.
Tykerb® (lapatinib) is a prescription medication used to treat breast cancer. It is used in combination with Xeloda® (capecitabine) or letrozole (Femara®). Unlike many cancer medications, Tykerb, Xeloda, and Femara are taken by mouth, not by IV (intravenously).
Tykerb is made by GlaxoSmithKline.
Tykerb belongs to a group of medications called tyrosine kinase inhibitors. It works inside of cancer cells. Tykerb binds to the inside of two types of receptors: epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal receptor type 2 (HER2). These two receptors are important for the growth of breast cancer and cells, and Tykerb (when used in combination with Xeloda) helps to slow down the growth of cancer cells.
In one study, Tykerb was added to Xeloda for treating breast cancer that had spread to other parts of the body. The people in this study had already tried other types of chemotherapy medications unsuccessfully. Those who took the combination of Tykerb plus Xeloda had a longer time before their cancer became worse (27.1 weeks on average, compared to 18.6 weeks for those taking just Xeloda).
Similar results were seen when Tykerb was combined with Femara in postmenopausal women with HER2-positive breast cancer that had already spread. Those who took the combination of Tykerb plus Femara had a longer time before their cancer became worse (35.4 weeks on average, compared to 13 weeks for Femara alone).