"Another targeted agent for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is positive for the ALK rearrangement (found in about 5% of NSCLC patients) has just been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The new drug, alectinib ("...
Gefitinib is a kinase inhibitor.
The chemical name of gefitinib is 4-Quinazolinamine N-(3-chloro-4-fluorophenyl)-7-methoxy-6-[3-(4-morpholinyl) propoxy] and the following structural formula:
Gefitinib has the molecular formula C22H24ClFN4O3, a relative molecular mass of 446.9 daltons and is a white-colored powder. Gefitinib is a free base. The molecule has pKas of 5.4 and 7.2. Gefitinib can be defined as sparingly soluble at pH 1, but is practically insoluble above pH 7, with the solubility decreasing sharply between pH 4 and pH 6. In non-aqueous solvents, gefitinib is freely soluble in glacial acetic acid and dimethyl sulfoxide, soluble in pyridine, sparingly soluble in tetrahydrofuran, and slightly soluble in methanol, ethanol (99.5%), ethyl acetate, propan-2-ol and acetonitrile.
IRESSA® (gefitinib) tablets are available as brown film-coated tablets, containing 250 mg of gefitinib, for oral administration. The inactive ingredients of the tablet core of IRESSA tablets are lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, povidone, sodium lauryl sulfate and magnesium stearate. The tablet coating is composed of hypromellose, polyethylene glycol 300, titanium dioxide, red ferric oxide and yellow ferric oxide.
What are the possible side effects of gefitinib (Iressa)?
If you experience any of the following serious side effects from gefitinib, contact your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (including difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- lung problems (difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, increased coughing, fever, or chest pain);
- severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or diarrhea; or
- eye pain or irritation.
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue taking gefitinib and talk to your doctor if you...
What are the precautions when taking getfitinib (Iressa)?
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...
Last reviewed on RxList: 7/15/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Iressa Information
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