Iressa

Last updated on RxList: 5/18/2021
Iressa Side Effects Center

What Is Iressa?

Iressa (gefitinib) is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor used for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 19 deletions or exon 21 (L858R) substitution mutations as detected by an FDA-approved test.

What Are Side Effects of Iressa?

Common side effects of Iressa include:

Tell your doctor if you have unlikely but serious side effects of Iressa including:

Dosage for Iressa

The recommended dose of Iressa is 250 mg orally, once daily with or without food.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Iressa?

Iressa may interact with rifampicin, phenytoin, tricyclic antidepressants, azole antifungals, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), histamine H2-receptor antagonists, antacids, and warfarin. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Iressa During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

Iressa is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus or result in fetal death. It is unknown if Iressa passes into breast milk, however, Iressa is not recommended for use while breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Iressa (gefitinib) Tablets Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

SLIDESHOW

Lung Cancer: Early Signs, Symptoms, Stages See Slideshow
Iressa Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe or ongoing diarrhea;
  • sudden chest pain or discomfort, new or worsening cough with fever, trouble breathing;
  • blurred vision, watery eyes, eye pain or redness, eyes being more sensitive to light;
  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • signs of stomach bleeding--severe stomach pain, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; or
  • severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • diarrhea;
  • acne;
  • dry skin; or
  • itching or skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Iressa (Gefitinib)

QUESTION

Lung cancer is a disease in which lung cells grow abnormally in an uncontrolled way. See Answer
Iressa Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

The following adverse drug reactions are discussed in more detail in other sections of the labeling:

  • Interstitial Lung Disease [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hepatotoxicity [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Gastrointestinal Perforation [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Severe or Persistent Diarrhea [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Ocular Disorders including Keratitis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Bullous and Exfoliative Skin Disorders [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The safety of IRESSA is based on the data from 2462 patients with NSCLC who received IRESSA 250 mg daily monotherapy in three randomized clinical studies (Study 2, Study 3 and Study 4). Patients with a history of interstitial lung disease, drug-induced interstitial disease, radiation pneumonitis that required steroid treatment or any evidence of clinically active interstitial lung disease were excluded from these studies.

Controlled Studies

Study 2 was a randomized, multicenter, open-label trial in which 1217 patients were randomized to receive first-line treatment for metastatic NSCLC; 607 patients received IRESSA 250 mg daily and 589 patients received carboplatin/paclitaxel. The median duration of treatment with IRESSA was 5.9 months. The study population characteristics were: median age 57 years, age less than 65 years (73%), female (79%), Asian (100%), NSCLC adenocarcinoma histology (100%), never smoker (94%), light ex-smoker (6%), ECOG PS 0 or 1 (90%).

Study 3 was a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which 1692 patients were randomized to receive second- or third-line treatment for metastatic NSCLC; of which 1126 patients received IRESSA 250 mg daily and 562 patients received placebo. The median duration of treatment with IRESSA was 2.9 months. The study population characteristics were: median age 62 years, age less than 65 years (60%), female (33%), Caucasian (75%), Asian (21%), NSCLC adenocarcinoma histology (48%), never smoker (22%), ECOG PS 0 or 1 (65%), PS 2 (29%), PS 3 (5%) and two or more prior therapies (51%).

Study 4 was a randomized, multicenter, open-label trial in which 1466 patients were randomized to receive second-line treatment for metastatic NSCLC; 729 patients received IRESSA 250 mg daily and 715 patients received docetaxel. The median duration of treatment with IRESSA was 2.4 months. The study population characteristics were: median age 61 years, age less than 65 years (61%), female (36%), Caucasian (79%), Asian (21%), NSCLC adenocarcinoma histology (54%), never smoker (20%), ECOG PS 0 or 1 (88%) and two or more prior therapies (16%).

The pooled safety database from the three randomized trials was used to evaluate for serious and uncommon adverse drug reactions. Common adverse reactions were evaluated in Study 3. The most frequent adverse reactions in Study 3 (incidence of >20% and greater than placebo) reported in IRESSA-treated patients were skin reactions (47%) and diarrhea (29%). The most frequent fatal adverse reactions in IRESSA-treated patients were respiratory failure (0.9%), pneumonia (0.8%), and pulmonary embolism (0.5%).

Approximately 5% of IRESSA-treated patients and 2.3% of placebo-treated patients discontinued treatment due to an adverse event. The most frequent adverse reactions that led to discontinuation in patients treated with IRESSA were nausea (0.5%), vomiting (0.5%) and diarrhea (0.4%).

Table 1: Selected Adverse Drug Reactions Occurring with an Incidence Rate ≥5% and an Increase of >2% of IRESSA-treated Patients in Study 3

Adverse Reaction Percentage (%) of patients
IRESSA
(N=1126)
Placebo
(N=562)
All Grades Grade 3 and 4 All Grades Grade 3 and 4
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Skin reactions1 47% 2% 17% 0.4%
Nail disorders2 5% 0.1% 0.7% 0%
Gastrointestinal disorders
Diarrhea3 29% 3% 10% 1%
Vomiting 14% 1.2% 10% 0.4%
Stomatitis4 7% 0.3% 4% 0.2%
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
Decreased appetite 17% 2.3% 14% 2.0%
Eye disorders
Conjunctivitis/blepharitis/dry eye5 6% 0% 3.2% 0%
1 Includes Acne, Acne pustular, Dermatitis, Dermatitis acneiform, Dermatitis exfoliative, Drug eruption, Dry skin, Erythema, Exfoliative rash, Folliculitis, Pruritus, Pruritus generalized, Rash, Rash erythematous, Rash generalized, Rash macular, Rash maculo-papular, Rash papular, Rash pruritic, Rash pustular, Rash vesicular, Skin exfoliation, Skin toxicity, Xeroderma
2 Includes Ingrowing nail, Nail bed infection, Nail disorder, Nail infection, Onychoclasis, Onycholysis, Paronychia
3 Includes Diarrhea, Feces soft, Frequent bowel movements
4 Includes Aphthous stomatitis, Cheilitis, Glossodynia, Mouth ulceration, Mucosal inflammation, Oral mucosal blistering, Stomatitis, Tongue disorder, Tongue ulceration
5 Includes Blepharitis, Conjunctival hyperemia, Conjunctivitis, Dry eye, Eye irritation, Eye pruritus, Eye swelling, Eyelid irritation, Eyelid edema, Eyelids pruritus

Table 2 : Treatment Emergent Laboratory Abnormalities Occurring More Frequently in IRESSA- Treated Patients in Study 3

Adverse Reaction IRESSA Placebo
All Grades % Grade 3 and 4 % All Grades % Grade 3 and 4 %
Alanine aminotransferase increased1 38%2 2.4% 23%2 1.4%4
Aspartate aminotransferase increased1 40%3 2.0% 25%3 1.3%5
Proteinuria 35% 4.7% 31% 3.3%
1 Patients were allowed to enter the clinical study with lab values of ALT or AST CTCAE grade 1 or 2
2 14% gefitinib patients and 10% placebo patients were CTC grade 1 or 2 ALT at baseline
3 15% gefitinib patients and 12% placebo patients were CTC grade 1 or 2 AST at baseline
4 0.2% of placebo patients were CTC grade 3 at baseline
5 0.4% of placebo patients were CTC grade 3 at baseline

The following adverse reactions have been reported with IRESSA across NSCLC trials (Study 2, Study 3 and Study 4) and are not listed elsewhere in Section 6: nausea (18%), asthenia (17%), pyrexia (9%), alopecia (4.7%), hemorrhage (including epistaxis and hematuria) (4.3%), dry mouth (2%), dehydration (1.8%), elevations in blood creatinine (1.5%), allergic reactions including angioedema and urticaria (1.1%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (0.2%) and pancreatitis (0.1%).

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of IRESSA. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Renal and urinary disorders: cystitis, hemorrhagic cystitis

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: cutaneous vasculitis

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Drugs Affecting Gefitinib Exposure

CYP3A4 Inducer

Drugs that are strong inducers of CYP3A4 increase the metabolism of gefitinib and decrease gefitinib plasma concentrations. Increase IRESSA to 500 mg daily in patients receiving a strong CYP3A4 inducer (e.g., rifampicin, phenytoin, or tricyclic antidepressant) and resume IRESSA at 250 mg 7 days after discontinuation of the strong inducer [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

CYP3A4 Inhibitor

Drugs that are strong inhibitors of CYP3A4 (e.g., ketoconazole and itraconazole) decrease gefitinib metabolism and increase gefitinib plasma concentrations. Monitor adverse reactions when administering strong CYP3A4 inhibitors with IRESSA.

Drugs Affecting Gastric pH

Drugs that elevate gastric pH (e.g., proton pump inhibitors, histamine H2-receptor antagonists, and antacids) may reduce plasma concentrations of gefitinib. Avoid concomitant use of IRESSA with proton pump inhibitors, if possible. If treatment with a proton-pump inhibitor is required, take IRESSA 12 hours after the last dose or 12 hours before the next dose of the proton-pump inhibitor. Take IRESSA 6 hours after or 6 hours before an H2-receptor antagonist or an antacid [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Hemorrhage In Patients Taking Warfarin

International Normalized Ratio (INR) elevations and/or hemorrhage have been reported in some patients taking warfarin while on IRESSA therapy. Patients taking warfarin should be monitored regularly for changes in prothrombin time or INR.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Iressa (Gefitinib)

© Iressa Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Iressa Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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