Lapatinib is used in combination with other medications (such as letrozole, capecitabine) to treat HER2 positive breast cancer that spreads to other parts of the body (advanced breast cancer).

IUPAC name: N-[3-chloro-4-[(3-fluorophenyl)methoxy]phenyl]-6-[5-[(2-methylsulfonyl ethyl amino)methyl]furan-2-yl]quinazolin-4-amine

Drug class: Antineoplastic; protein kinase inhibitor

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Route of administration: Oral

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

Lapatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that prevents the growth of cancerous cells in the breast by inhibiting a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2).

Side effects

Common side effects may include nausea, vomiting, sore mouth, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, dry skin, hair loss.

Serious side effects

Diarrhea, shortness of breath, swelling of feet/hands/ankles, dizziness, blisters, skin peeling, allergic reactions, abnormal heart rate, weakness.


Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

If you are allergic to it or have any other allergies, you should avoid it.

If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),

If you have a medical history of cardiac disease (heart failure, irregular heart rate), hepatic disease, low level of magnesium or potassium in blood,

This medication should not be given during pregnancy or nursing.


This medication has the potential to cause severe hepatic disease including prolonged nausea, severe abdominal pain, jaundice, and dark urination.

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