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Iressa

Generic Name: gefitinib (ge FI ti nib)
Brand Names: Iressa
Iressa is used in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Learn about side effects, interactions and indications.
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Drug Information:
Iressa (gefitinib) is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Iressa is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. Iressa is sometimes used to treat cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Iressa should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use. Learn more

Iressa Side Effects

Iressa Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about gefitinib. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Iressa.

For the Consumer

Applies to gefitinib: oral tablet

Along with its needed effects, gefitinib (the active ingredient contained in Iressa) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking gefitinib:

More common

  • Abdominal or stomach pain or tenderness
  • clay colored stools
  • dark urine
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea, severe
  • fever
  • headache
  • itching or skin rash
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • yellow eyes or skin

Less common

  • Burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • difficult breathing
  • discharge or excessive tearing
  • dry eyes
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
  • thickening of bronchial secretions
  • troubled breathing
  • troubled or quick, shallow breathing

Rare

  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • eye redness, irritation, or pain
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • joint or muscle pain
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • severe abdominal or stomach pain, cramping, or burning
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds, severe and continuing

Some side effects of gefitinib may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common

  • Redness or soreness around fingernails or loosening of the fingernails

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to gefitinib: oral tablet

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Interstitial lung disease or ILD-like adverse reactions

Hepatic

Very common (10% or more): Increased AST (up to 40%), increased ALT (up to 38%)

Common (1% to 10%): Increased bilirubin

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hepatitis/hepatic failure

Rare (less than 0.1%): Fatal hepatotoxicity

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (up to 29%), nausea (up to 18%), vomiting (up to 14%)

Common (1% to 10%): Stomatitis, dry mouth, pancreatitis, dehydration (secondary to diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or anorexia)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): GI perforation

Ocular

Common (1% to 10%): Keratitis, conjunctivitis, blepharitis, dry eye

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Corneal erosion/aberrant eyelash growth

Nervous system

Rare (less than 0.1%): CNS hemorrhage

Frequency not reported: Cerebrovascular events

Dermatologic

Reported skin reactions: acne/acne pustular, dermatitis (acneiform and exfoliative), drug eruption, dry skin, erythema, folliculitis, pruritus, rash (erythematous, exfoliative, generalized, macular, maculo-papular, papular, pruritic, pustular, vesicular), skin exfoliation, skin toxicity, and xeroderma.

Very common (10% or more): Skin reactions (up to 47%)

Common (1% to 10%): Nail disorder, alopecia

Rare (less than 0.1%): Bullous conditions (including toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme), cutaneous vasculitis

Renal

Very common (10% or more): Proteinuria (up to 35%)

Common (1% to 10%): Elevated blood creatinine, cystitis

Rare (less than 0.1%): Hemorrhagic cystitis

Frequency not reported: Renal failure

Metabolic

Very common (10% or more): Decreased appetite (up to 17%), anorexia (10%)

Other

Very common (10% or more): Asthenia (up to 17%)

Common (1% to 10%): Pyrexia

Hematologic

Common (1% to 10%): Hemorrhage (including epistaxis and hematuria)

Immunologic

Common (1% to 10%): Allergic reactions (including angioedema and urticaria)

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Iressa