Chemical Name: GEFITINIB (geh-FIT-in-ib)
This medicine is used alone to treat lung cancer after other cancer chemotherapy treatments have not been successful. It is a cancer chemotherapy medicine that works by blocking a certain protein (an enzyme called tyrosine kinase) which may help cancer grow and spread.
Some medicines or medical conditions may interact with this medicine. INFORM YOUR DOCTOR OR PHARMACIST of all prescription and over-the-counter medicine that you are taking. ADDITIONAL MONITORING OF YOUR DOSE OR CONDITION may be needed if you are taking "blood thinners" such as warfarin; medicines that reduce stomach acid including ranitidine, cimetidine, famotidine, omeprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole, or antacids; or medicines that affect certain liver enzymes such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, erythromycin, clarithromycin, rifampin, rifabutin, St. John's wort, or phenytoin. Inform your doctor of any other medical conditions, allergies, pregnancy, or breast-feeding. ADDITIONAL MONITORING OF YOUR DOSE OR CONDITION may be needed if you have serious lung disease such as pulmonary fibrosis, or severe kidney disease. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about taking this medicine.
Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. TAKE THIS MEDICINE by mouth once daily with or without food, or as directed. Medicines that reduce or completely block stomach acid including proton pump inhibitors, H2-blockers, or antacids may decrease the absorption of gefitinib. This may decrease the effectiveness of gefitinib. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you use any of these medicines. STORE THIS MEDICINE at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), away from light and moisture. Use this medicine regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To hlep you remember each dose, take it at the same time(s) each day. IF YOU MISS A DOSE OF THIS MEDICINE, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. DO NOT take 2 doses at once.
DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you have had an allergic reaction to it or are allergic to any ingredient in this product. DO NOT EXCEED THE RECOMMENDED dose or use this medicine for longer than prescribed. KEEP ALL DOCTOR AND LABORATORY APPOINTMENTS while you are using this medicine. Medical and/or laboratory tests including liver function tests may be done to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. FOR WOMEN: USE OF THIS MEDICINE DURING PREGNANCY is not recommended and may result in fetal harm. Contact your doctor for more details. IT IS UNKNOWN IF THIS MEDICINE IS EXCRETED in breast milk. DO NOT BREAST-FEED while taking this medicine.
Possible side effects
SIDE EFFECTS that may occur while taking this medicine include dry skin, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, acne, loss of appetite, or unusual weakness. If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor. CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you experience eye irritation or pain, or swelling of the ankles or feet. CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY if you experience stomach or abdominal pain, extreme fatigue, dark urine, or yellowing eyes or skin. Gefitinib may cause rare (possibly fatal) lung disease (interstitial lung disease or ILD); therefore, CONTACT 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 treatment with gefitinib, which may help reverse those side effects. IF YOU EXPERIENCE difficulty breathing; tightness of chest; swelling of eyelids, face, or lips; dizziness; or if you develop a rash or hives, tell your doctor immediately. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
If you take too much
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include severe or persistent diarrhea, and severe skin rash.
DO NOT SHARE THIS MEDICINE with others for whom it was not prescribed. DO NOT USE THIS MEDICINE for other health conditions. KEEP THIS MEDICINE out of the reach of children and pets. IF USING THIS MEDICINE FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, obtain refills before your supply runs out.