GENERIC NAME: GEFITINIB - ORAL (ge-FI-ti-nib)
BRAND NAME(S): Iressa
Warning | Medication Uses | How To Use | Side Effects | Precautions | Drug Interactions | Overdose | Notes | Missed Dose | Storage
WARNING: Gefitinib has rarely caused very serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Get medical help right away if you develop symptoms of liver disease, including stomach/abdominal pain, extreme fatigue, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
Gefitinib has also rarely caused very serious (possibly fatal) holes in the wall of the stomach or intestines. Get medical help right away if you develop stomach/abdominal pain, black/bloody stools, or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
USES: Gefitinib is used to treat lung cancer. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells. Gefitinib blocks a certain protein (an enzyme called tyrosine kinase).
HOW TO USE: Take gefitinib by mouth once daily, with or without food, or as directed.Medications which reduce or completely block stomach acid (e.g., proton pump inhibitors/PPIs, H2 blockers, antacids) may decrease the absorption of gefitinib. This could decrease the effectiveness of gefitinib. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of these medications.Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Diarrhea, rash, acne, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, nail problems, hair loss, red/sore mouth or throat, or unusual weakness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist immediately.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Persistent nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite may result in a serious loss of body water (dehydration) and kidney problems. Contact your doctor promptly if you notice any symptoms of dehydration, such as: unusual decreased urination, unusual dry mouth/thirst, fast heartbeat, dizziness/lightheadedness.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: unusual bleeding (coughing up blood, blood in urine), eye irritation/pain, swelling of the ankles/feet.Gefitinib may cause rare (possibly fatal) lung disease (interstitial lung disease-ILD). Tell your doctor immediately if you develop trouble breathing, cough or fever.If you have persistent diarrhea or skin rashes contact your doctor. Your doctor may temporarily stop gefitinib (for up to 14 days) which may help reverse those side effects. Treatment is then resumed with the same dosage.An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: severe rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: lung disease (e.g., pulmonary fibrosis), severe kidney disease, eye problems, stomach/intestinal ulcers, other stomach/intestinal problems (such as diverticulitis, blockage, bowel disease), smoking, cancer that has spread to the bowels.Gefitinib is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may cause harm to an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details.It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Due to the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using gefitinib is not recommended.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: See also How to Use section.Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription products you may use, especially of: "blood thinners" (warfarin), drugs which reduce stomach acid (e.g., ranitidine, cimetidine, famotidine, omeprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole), certain liver enzyme inhibitors (CYP 3A4 inhibitors such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, erythromycin, clarithromycin), vinorelbine, NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen, naproxen), corticosteroids (such as prednisone).Some liver enzyme inducer medications such as rifamycins (e.g., rifampin, rifabutin), St. John's wort or phenytoin will stimulate certain liver enzymes (CYP 3A4). Your dosage of gefitinib may need to be increased if you are using such medications. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe/persistent diarrhea, severe skin rash.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney/liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is less than 12 hours before the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.
Top gefitinib Related Articles
CancerCancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of 100 different diseases, and is not contagious. Cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, a treatment of drugs that destroy cancer cells.
Cancer Risk Factors and CausesThough it's difficult to say why some people develop cancer while others don't, research shows that certain risk factors increase a person's odds of developing cancer. These risk factors include growing older, family history of cancer, diet, alcohol and tobacco use, and exposure to sunlight, ionizing radiation, certain chemicals, and some viruses and bacteria.
erlotinib (Tarceva)Erlotinib (Tarceva) is a synthetic drug prescribed for the treatment of cancer. It is approved to treat non-small cell lung cancer, advanced unresectable metastatic prostate cancer, and for pancreatic cancer. Review side effects, dosage, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy safety information prior to taking this medication.
Lung CancerLung cancer kills more men and women than any other form of cancer. Eight out of 10 lung cancers are due to tobacco smoke. Lung cancers are classified as either small-cell or non-small-cell lung cancers.
Targeted Therapy: What Is Oncogenic Addiction in Cancer Cells?Targeted therapy for cancers with oncogenic addiction aims to stop the mutated "oncogene" that fuels the tumor. Research indicates that cancer cells may rely more heavily on oncogenic mutations that originally gave rise to the particular cancer, rather than other reasons for their growth. Such cancers have an oncogenic addiction because they mainly depend on that oncogene’s continued activity for survival.
What Should I Do After an Unwanted Pregnancy?There are a variety of options that may help you handle your situation. It might help you to visualize each option and decide how you feel about it. Consider reaching out to trained professionals or close friends if you get overwhelmed.