Gilotrif treats a certain type of lung cancer. It must be taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating food. Limit your time in the sun and wear sunscreen. Diarrhea is a common side effect.

Gilotrif Overview

Reviewed: July 12, 2013

Gilotrif is a prescription medication used to treat patients with late stage (metastatic) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors express a specific type of gene mutation. This mutation is of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Gilotrif is also used to treat advanced squamous cell lung cancer

Gilotrif belongs to a group of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors which block proteins that promote the development of cancerous cells.

This medication comes in tablet form and is taken on an empty stomach.

Common side effects include diarrhea, rash, and mouth sores.

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Uses of Gilotrif

Gilotrif is a prescription medicine used to treat people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), 

  • that have certain types of abnormal epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) genes, and 
  • who have not had previous treatment for cancer that has spread to other parts of the body 

Gilotrif is also used to treat advanced squamous cell lung cancer that has progressed after treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


Gilotrif Drug Class

Gilotrif is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Gilotrif

The most common side effects include: 

  • diarrhea
  • rash
  • mouth sores
  • nail infection
  • dry skin
  • acne
  • decreased appetite
  • itching

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Serious side effects may occur. See "Drug Precautions" section.

These are not all of the possible side effects of Gilotrif. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Gilotrif Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Gilotrif may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect the way Gilotrif works.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor or pharmacist when you get a new medicine.


Gilotrif Precautions

Limit your time in the sun. Gilotrif can make your skin sensitive to the sun. You could get or have worsening rash or acne. You could get a severe sunburn. Use sunscreen and wear a hat and clothes that cover your skin while you are taking Gilotrif if you have to be in sunlight.

Gilotrif may cause serious side effects, including: 
  • diarrhea. Diarrhea is common with Gilotrif and may sometimes be severe. Severe diarrhea can cause loss of body fluid (dehydration) and kidney problems that can sometimes lead to death. During your treatment with Gilotrif, your doctor should prescribe medicines to treat diarrhea. Take this medicine exactly as your doctor tells you to. Tell your doctor if you have diarrhea. Get medical attention right away if your diarrhea does not go away or becomes severe. 
  • skin reactions. Gilotrif can cause redness, rash, and acne. It is important to get treatment for skin reactions as soon as you notice them. Take medicines to help skin reactions exactly as your doctor tells you to. Get medical attention right away if you develop severe skin reactions such as peeling or blistering of the skin. 
  • lung or breathing problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have any new or worsening lung problems, or any combination of the following symptoms: 
    • trouble breathing or shortness of breath 
    • cough 
    • fever 
  • liver problemsYour doctor will do blood tests to check your liver function during your treatment with Gilotrif. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of a liver problem which may include: 
    • yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes (jaundice) 
    • dark or brown (tea colored) urine 
    • pain on the upper right side of your stomach area (abdomen) 
    • bleeding or bruising more easily than normal 
    • feeling very tired 
  • eye problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of eye problems which may include: 
    • eye pain, swelling, redness, or tearing 
    • blurred vision 
    • sensitivity to light 
    • other changes in your vision 
  • heart problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of a heart problem which may include: 
    • new or worsening shortness of breath while at rest or with activity 
    • cough 
    • tiredness 
    • swelling of your ankles, feet, or legs 
    • feeling that your heart is pounding or racing (palpitations) 
    • sudden weight gain


Gilotrif Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Gilotrif, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before you take Gilotrif, tell your doctor if you: 

  • have kidney or liver problems
  • have lung or breathing problems other than lung cancer 
  • have a history of severe dry eye or any other eye problems. Tell your doctor if you wear contact lenses. 
  • have heart problems 
  • have any other medical conditions 
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Gilotrif and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Gilotrif can harm your unborn baby. You should not become pregnant while taking Gilotrif.

  • Women who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with Gilotrif and for at least 2 weeks after your last dose of Gilotrif. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that may be right for you. 
  • Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking Gilotrif.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category D. It has been shown that use of Gilotrif in pregnant women caused some babies to be born with problems. However, in some serious situations, the benefit of using this medication may be greater than the risk of harm to the baby.


Gilotrif and Lactation

It is not known if Gilotrif crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. You should not do both.


Gilotrif Usage

Take Gilotrif exactly as your doctor tells you to take it. 
  • Your doctor will tell you how many Gilotrif tablets to take and when to take them. Do not change your dose or stop Gilotrif  unless your doctor tells you to. 
  • Take Gilotrif on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal. 
  • If you miss a dose of Gilotrif, take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 12 hours of your next dose, skip the dose and just take your next dose at your regular time. 
  • Do not take 2 doses of Gilotrif at the same time. 


Gilotrif Dosage

Take Gilotrif exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The recommended dose of Gilotrif to treat late stage (metastatic) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is 40 mg orally once daily.


Gilotrif Overdose

If you take too much Gilotrif, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If Gilotrif is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store Gilotrif at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). 
  • Keep Gilotrif in the original container and keep the container tightly closed. 
  • Keep Gilotrif away from moisture and light. 
  • Safely throw away (discard) any Gilotrif that is out of date or no longer needed.