Iressa® or Gefitinib is a cancer chemotherapy medication. Iressa or Gefitinib interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body. Gefitinib is used in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Iressa tablets contain 250 mg of gefitinib and are available as brown film-coated tablets for daily oral administration
Iressa or Gefitinib is indicated as monotherapy for the continued treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer after failure of both platinum-based and docetaxel chemotherapies who are benefiting or have benefited from Gefitinib. Iressa or Gefitinib may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this drug information guide.
The recommended daily dose of Iressa or Gefitinib is one 250 mg tablet with or without food. Higher doses do not give a better response and cause increased toxicity. However, your oncologist may make dose adjustment as per required.
Serious side effects have been reported with the use of Iressa including: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); lung problems; liver problems; eye problems; severe nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or diarrhea; and others.
Before taking gefitinib, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, especially warfarin (Coumadin); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); ketoconazole (Nizoral); itraconazole (Sporanox); or a stomach acid reducer such as cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB), ranitidine (Zantac, Zantac 75), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), and others.
Symptoms of a Iressa or Gefitinib overdose tend to be similar to side effects caused by the medication, although often more severe. If you suspect over dose seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Iressa or Gefitinib is contraindicated in patients with severe hypersensitivity to gefitinib or to any other component of gefitinib.
It is important to know that Iressa or Gefitinib should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Serious side effects like allergic reactions (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); lung problems; liver problems; eye problems; severe nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or diarrhea; and others have been reported with the use of Iressa or Gefitinib. You are advised to discuss with your doctor about the possible side effects from treatment with Gefitinib.