Gefitinib is an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. It is also known by its brand name Iressa. It is used for lung cancer treatment that has spread to surrounding tissues or other parts of the body.
How it Works?
Gefitinib works by blocking a type of protein called tyrosine kinase from sending signals that cause cancer cells to grow. It is in the form of tablet and is taken with water. It is taken usually once a day and need to take it at about the same time each day. You can place tablet in a glass of water and stir. Drink the mixture right away and do not save it for later use. The mixture generally includes 4 to 8 ounces of water to a glass of water.
You should avoid taking anti acid medicines two hours before taking it and for one hour afterwards. The tablets should be taken according to the instructions your doctor gives you.
The common side effects associated with this lung cancer drug include:
- Lung or breathing problems
- Feeling or being sick
- Skin changes
- Loss of appetite
- Sore mouth
- Liver changes
- Risk of bleeding
- Kidney changes
Some rare side effects of Gefitinib include:
- Inflammation of the liver
- Eye pain
- Fertility problem in females
Important Things to Consider
You should talk to your doctor about all side effects you are facing so as to get timely help. You should also inform him about any other medicines you are taking like vitamins, herbal supplements and more. It is important to not to become pregnant while you are having treatment of lung cancer and for a few months afterwards also. One should not breastfeed during the treatment.
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