May 28, 2017
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Iressa Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Iressa

Generic Name: gefitinib (Pronunciation: ge FI ti nib)

What is gefitinib (Iressa)?

Gefitinib is a cancer chemotherapy medication. 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.

Gefitinib may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Iressa 250 mg

round, brown, imprinted with IRESSA 250

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 experience:

  • mild to moderate nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or diarrhea;
  • skin rash, dryness, itching, or acne; or
  • weakness.

Other side effects have also been reported. Discuss with your doctor any side effect that occurs during treatment with gefitinib. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Iressa (getfitinib) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about gefitinib (Iressa)?

Gefitinib should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Serious side effects have been reported with the use of gefitinib 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. Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects from treatment with gefitinib.

Side Effects Centers

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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