Side effects of oral EGFR inhibitors (Gefitinib/ Erlotinib/Afatinib)

The adverse drug reactions most commonly reported were rash (possibly itchy) and diarrhea, which in most cases were mild and manageable without intervention. Rash with more severe diarrhea is rarer. Generally, the rash appears after 8 days and diarrhea after ​​12 days.

Other side effects

  • Alterations of the gastrointestinal tract
    Common: Gastrointestinal bleeding. In clinical studies, some cases have been associated with concomitant administration of warfarin and sometimes with concomitant administration of NSAIDs.

  • Alterations of the hepatobiliary system
    Common: Abnormal values ​​of liver function tests (including increases in alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and bilirubin, most often mild or moderate, transient in nature or associated with liver metastases).

  • Eye disorders
    Common: Keratitis. An isolated case of corneal ulceration was reported in a patient receiving Tarceva (erlotinib) with concomitant chemotherapy as a complication of mucocutaneous inflammation.

  • Changes in the respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal tract
    Uncommon: Severe pulmonary interstitial disease (ILD), sometimes fatal, in patients taking this category of drugs for the treatment of NSCLC or other advanced solid tumors.


– Therapies for patients with EGFR mutation
– Study ADJUVANT: gefitinib, the first molecular-target drug used in adjuvant treatment