There are a variety of medications available to treat lung cancer. These medications include cytotoxic and targeted treatment medications. Anti-cancer chemotherapy medications are known as cytotoxic drugs. The other is a class of medications that specifically target cancer cells and kill them. The medications used to treat lung cancer can be used for chemotherapy or targeted therapy. You'll find them listed below.

Cytotoxic drugs

  • Etoposide
  • Carboplatin
  • Cisplatin
  • Paclitaxel
  • Pemetrexed
  • Vinblastine
  • Vinorelbine
  • Gemcitabine


Drugs used in targeted therapy

  1. AFATINIB- Afatinib is a signal transduction inhibitor that is used in chemotherapy (targeted therapy). Gilotrif is the brand name for this drug. It works by inhibiting tyrosine kinases. Lung cancer cells' growth, proliferation, and metastasis are all inhibited when this enzyme is blocked.

Availability-It comes in tablet form in dose strengths of 20mg, 30mg, and 40mg.

Dosage-Orally, a dose of 40 mg per day is recommended.

It is approved for the treatment of metastatic NSCLC with EGFR mutations identified by an FDA-approved assay.

Negative effects

The majority of people do not suffer the stated symptoms, but once the therapy is over, the adverse effects improve.

  1. Skin toxicity manifests itself as a rash, redness, itching, and changes in the nail bed.
  2. Diarrhoea
  3. Lung toxicity manifests itself as a cough, trouble breathing, fever, and other symptoms.
  4. Toxicity of the liver
  5. Fatigue and a loss of appetite
  6. Inflammation of the cornea.

Precautions

  1. Inform your doctor about any other medications you're taking before starting Afatinib treatment. If your doctor allows it, don't take any anti-inflammatory meds.
  2. Do not receive any vaccinations or immunizations without first consulting your doctor.
  3. If you are pregnant, tell your doctor before starting Afatinib treatment.
  4. While taking Afatinib, do not try to conceive a child.
  5. Afatinib medication might make the skin sensitive to sunlight, therefore limit sun exposure.
  6. In patients with liver disease, the medication should be administered with caution.

2. ERLOTINIB- Erlotinib is a signal transduction inhibitor that is used to treat cancer. Tarceva is the brand name for this product. It works by inhibiting tyrosine kinases. Tyrosine kinase is a protein that regulates cancer cell development, advancement, and spread. Erlotinib prevents these actions from taking place.

The patient can take erlotinib orally because it is available in tablet form.

Availability-It comes in three dosing strengths: 25 mg, 100 mg, and 150 mg in tablet form.

Dosage-A daily intake of 150mg pill is advised.

Uses-

Approved for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has EGFR       mutations.

Also for pancreatic cancer treatment has been approved.

Negative effects

  • Itching, dry skin, and a rash on the face and trunk are common.
  • Diarrhea Lung toxicity manifests itself as a cough, trouble breathing, fever, and other symptoms.
  • Anorexia
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Skin reactions are recalled by radiation.

Precautions

  • Inform your doctor about any other medications you're taking before commencing erlotinib treatment.
  • Do not receive any vaccinations or immunizations without first consulting your doctor.
  • Use with caution in patients with liver problems.
  • If you are pregnant, tell your doctor before starting erlotinib medication.
  • While taking erlotinib, do not try to conceive a child.
  • While using Erlotinib, do not breastfeed.

3. GEFITINIB

Gefitinib is a type of signal transduction inhibitor that is used to treat cancer. Iressa is the brand name for this product. It is an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is selective. Proliferation, growth, and metastasis are all inhibited as a result of this suppression.

Because gefitinib is available in tablet form, it can be taken orally by the patient. It can be dissolved in a glass of water if patients find it difficult to swallow. Drug absorption is unaffected by food.

Availability

It comes in the form of a tablet with a dosage strength of 250mg.

Dosage: one 250mg tablet per day

The FDA has approved this medicine for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer in patients with EGFR exon 19 deletions or exon 21 substitutions as detected by an FDA-approved test.

Negative effects

If you have any negative effects while taking Gefitinib, you should contact your doctor right once.

  • Blood pressure elevation, especially in hypertensive people.
  • Itchy, flaky skin
  • Appetite loss.
  • Mild nausea and vomiting
  • Mucositis
  • Corneal erosion, conjunctivitis Eyelash development that is abnormal.

4. OSIMERTINIB

Osimertinib is a signal transduction inhibitor that is used as a chemotherapeutic medication (targeted agent). Tagrisso is the brand name for this product.

The medication primarily works by blocking the EGFR gene. When this EGFR is inhibited, signals crucial in lung cancer cell proliferation, growth, and metastasis are blocked.

Osimertinib is a drug that comes in the shape of a tablet that can be taken orally.

It can be taken with or without food, and it is important to swallow the tablets whole.

Availability

It comes in tablet form with dose strengths of 40mg and 80mg.

Dosage

The suggested oral dose is 80 mg per day.

Uses: The FDA has approved the medicine for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with the EGFR T790M mutation discovered by an FDA-approved test after therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Negative effects

The majority of patients have no side effects, and those who do have them are reversible and go away once the treatment is finished.

  • Skin toxicity manifests itself as a rash, dry skin, itching, and changes in the nail bed.
  • Diarrhoea
  • Cough, trouble breathing, fever, and other symptoms of lung poisoning.
  • Fatigue, anorexia, and a loss of appetite
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Heart failure due to congestive heart failure.

Precautions

  • Inform your doctor about any other medications you're taking before commencing Osimertinib treatment.
  • Do not receive any vaccinations or immunizations without first consulting your doctor.
  • If you are pregnant, tell your doctor before starting Osimertinib treatment because this medication could harm the foetus.
  • While taking Osimertinib, do not try to conceive a child. Both the genders are affected by this .
  • While using Osimertinib, do not breastfeed.
  • Caution is advised in people who have liver or kidney disease.
  • Sun exposure should be avoided.
  • While on treatment, keep an eye on the patient's heart function.

5. BEVACIZUMAB

Bevacizumab is a medication that targets the protein vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which helps cancer cells develop blood cells in order to receive food and oxygen. Bevacizumab inhibits the growth of cancerous blood cells by blocking this protein. As a result, lung cancer cells are starved and can no longer proliferate. An anti-angiogenesis medication is a type of drug that interferes with the blood supply. In primary and metastatic cancers, it prevents the creation of new blood vessels. It's brand name is Avastin.

Bevacizumab is an injectable medication. Doctors prescribe a dosage of 25 mg/ml (4ml, 16ml single vial dose).

Uses

  • Cancer of the intestines that has spread to other regions of the body.
  • Glioblastoma
  • Renal cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that affects the kidney
  • Cervical Cancer affects the women
  • Cancer of the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Dosage

The recommended dose is determined on the drug's indication and use. Medical oncologists usually administer 10 to 15 mg/kg.

Negative effects

The following are some of the most prevalent negative effects that patients may experience when taking Bevacizumab:

  • Complications of the gastrointestinal tract, such as delayed wound healing and perforation
  • Epistaxis and other bleeding complications
  • Thrombotic impact with an increased risk
  • Symptoms of hypertension infusions include fever, chills, flushing, weariness, and headache.
  • Depression and dizziness

Precautions

  • Other medications should be disclosed to the doctor.
  • Without first consulting your doctor, do not receive any vaccinations or immunizations.
  • If you are pregnant, tell your doctor before starting therapy.
  • Do not have a child (applicable for both men and women)
  • Also, do not nurse your child.
  • In patients with uncontrolled hypertension, use the medication with caution.

6. CRIZOTINIB

Crizotinib is a signal transduction inhibitor that is used in chemotherapy (targeted therapy). Xalkori is the brand name for this product. It works by blocking tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as ALK, preventing lung cancer cells from growing, proliferating, and spreading.

Crizotinib is a drug that comes in the shape of a capsule. It's important to note that the tablets should not be powdered or broken before taking them.

Availability

It comes in hard capsules of 200 mg and 250 mg.

Dosage: 250 mg twice a day, orally.

Uses-

FDA-approved for the treatment of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer that is locally progressed or metastatic.

FDA-approved for the treatment of ROS-positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.

Negative effects

The following are some of the most prevalent negative effects that patients may experience when using crizotinib:

  • Problems with vision
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • The flavour of things changes.
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Fingers and toes tingling
  • Increased levels of liver enzymes
  • Toxicology of the lungs
  • Toxicity of the heart

Precautions

  • Inform your doctor about any other medications you're taking before starting crizotinib treatment.
  • Do not receive any vaccinations or immunizations without first consulting your doctor.
  • If you are pregnant, tell your doctor before starting Crizotinib treatment because it can harm the foetus.
  • While taking crizotinib, do not try to conceive a child. Applicable for both men and women
  • While taking Crizotinib, do not breastfeed.
  • When using Crizotinib, avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice since it can raise the amount of crizotinib in the blood to harmful levels.

7. NIVOLUMAB

Nivolumab is a lung cancer monoclonal antibody. It's an inhibitor of immune checkpoints. Opdivo is the brand name for this medication. It works by blocking the interaction of PD-L1 and PD-L2 ligands with the PD-1 receptor.

Nivolumab is a type of antibody that can be injected.

Availability

It comes in two injectable forms: 40 mg/4 ml (10 mg/ml) and 100 mg/10 ml (10 mg/ml).

Dosage

Nivolumab dosage is determined on the indication or application. The suggested dose for lung cancer is 240 mg IV over two weeks.

Uses

  • Unresectable or metastatic cancers Melanoma that has progressed to the stage of malignancy.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma with metastatic spread Non-small cell carcinoma Lung cancer is a type of cancer that affects the
  • Renal cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that affects the kidney
  • Urothelial carcinoma is a type of cancer that affects the lining
  • Head and neck cancer that recurs
  • Lymphoma Hodgkin's

Negative effects

The following are some of the most common Nivolumab adverse effects:

  • Diarrhea and stomach pain are symptoms of colitis.
  • Cough and trouble breathing are symptoms of pneumonitis.
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Mouth is parched
  • Muscle and bone discomfort
  • Rashes and itching on the skin
  • Hypothyroidism

Precautions

  • Inform your doctor about any other medications you are taking before commencing Nivolumab treatment. Do not receive any vaccinations or immunizations without first consulting your doctor.
  • If you are taking Nivolumab and are pregnant, tell your doctor. Nivolumab can be harmful to the foetus.
  • If you're on Nivolumab, don't breastfeed.
  • While on treatment, keep an eye on your thyroid function.

8. ETOPOSIDE

Etoposide is a chemotherapeutic medication that is classed as a topoisomerase II inhibitor and a plant alkaloid (Epipodophyllotoxin). Alkaloids derived from plants are known as plant alkaloids. Etoposide is also known by the brand names VP-16 and Toposar. The medicine works by preventing DNA synthesis by blocking topoisomerase II.

Etoposide comes as a tablet that can be taken orally. It's also available in injectable form and can be given as an infusion into a patient's vein; it can be a quick infusion or one that lasts for more than 24 hours.

Availability

It comes in capsule form with a dose strength of 50 mg, and it comes in injectable form with a dose strength of 20 mg/ml.

Uses

  • Lung cancer with little cells
  • Tumors of germ cells
  • Lymphoma Non- Hodgkin's
  • Cancer of the stomach
  • In the context of transplantation, as a high-dose therapy.

Dosage

The dosage is determined by the indication or use. Every three weeks, it is usually given at a dose of 100 to 120 mg/m2 for 1 to 3 days.

Negative effects

The majority of patients who are given etoposide do not have any side effects. Even if side effects do occur, they are predictable in terms of when they will appear and how long they will last. The majority of these adverse effects are reversible and will go away after the treatment is over.

  • The dose-limiting side effect is myelosuppression.
  • Appetite Suppression
  • Hair loss is a common problem.
  • Mucositis
  • Diarrhoea
  • Inflammation at the injection location
  • Reaction to radiation on the skin
  • Secondary malignancy risk is higher.

Precautions

  • Inform your doctor about any other medications you're taking before commencing Etoposide treatment.
  • Do not receive any vaccinations or immunizations without first consulting your doctor.
  • If you are pregnant, tell your doctor before starting Etoposide medication.
  • Do not try to conceive while using Etoposide.

9. PEMETREXED

Pemetrexed is a chemotherapeutic medication that belongs to the antimetabolite class of drugs. It works by inhibiting DNA synthesis by inhibiting the enzyme thymidylate synthase.

Pemetrexed is only accessible in liquid form (injectable form), and it must be injected into a vein by a doctor or nurse (IV route).

Availability

It comes in two strengths: 100 mg per vial and 500 mg per vial.

Dosage

500 mg/m2 IV every 3 weeks is the recommended dose.

Uses

FDA-approved for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer as a single agent or in combination with chemotherapy.

Negative effects

The majority of people do not suffer the stated symptoms, but once the therapy is over, the adverse effects improve.

  • Appetite problems
  • The dose-limiting side effect is myelosuppression.
  • Fatigue
  • Rash and nausea are symptoms of hand-foot syndrome.
  • Diarrhoea / Stomatitis

Precautions

  • Inform your doctor about any other medications you're taking before starting pemetrexed treatment. If your doctor allows it, don't take any anti-inflammatory meds.
  • Do not receive any vaccinations or immunizations without first consulting your doctor.
  • If you are pregnant, tell your doctor before starting pemetrexed medication.
  • While receiving pemetrexed medication, do not try to conceive.