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What is Neratinib?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Neratinib is a chemotherapy medication useful for the treatment of some kinds of breast cancer. The drug was developed by pharmaceutical company Pfizer and is part of a large family of drugs developed to target breast cancers on the basis of particular characteristics, with the goal of narrowing down the scope of treatment and reducing damage to neighboring tissues. The drug can be used alone or in combination therapy, and as with other chemotherapy medications, it is used in ongoing clinical trials to learn more about how and where it can be used.

This drug is part of a class of medications known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, working to block the action of enzymes involved in the proliferation of cancer cells. It targets human epidermal growth factor receptor two (HER2), and can be used to treat patients with HER2 sensitive cancers, a common form of breast cancer. Doctors can determine tumor sensitivity through pathology and lab tests to determine which treatments would be most appropriate for a breast cancer patient.

Neratinib is taken orally in a drug regimen prescribed by a doctor. Chemotherapy drugs need to be taken on time and on a regular schedule for best results. Side effects like nausea, vomiting, headaches, and fluid retention can occur, and other drugs may be prescribed to manage these. If patients vomit shortly after taking their medications, they should contact an oncologist to get advice on what to do. Taking another neratinib pill may or may not be advised, depending on whether the body had time to start metabolizing the medication.

Patients can take neratinib along with pursuing other treatment options like surgery to remove tumors and radiation to damage cancer cells with the goal of keeping the tumor from growing back. Over the course of breast cancer treatment, the patient will be repeatedly evaluated to determine whether the cancer is responding to treatment. If the cancer continues to spread or the side effects are intolerable, it may be necessary to consider an alternative course of treatment.

Oncologists — specialists in cancer care — usually oversee cancer treatment. Patients on neratinib can ask about other available medications and the prognosis with different kinds of treatment, as well as inquiring about clinical trial eligibility. Clinical trials can provide people with access to the newest medications, although their efficacy is not fully known, and patients can experience varying results while in a trial. Clinical trial databases can be found online to provide more information about open trials.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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