Gefitinib

Description

Gefitinib is an anticancer medicine which is used in the treatment of cancer of the lungs. It should only be used under the supervision of a qualified physician. This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with lung and liver diseases.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Gefitinib

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Allergic skin reaction
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Increase in liver enzyme levels
  • Eye irritation
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sore throat
  • Redness around fingernails

Uses of Gefitinib

What is it prescribed for?

  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The time taken for the medicine to show its effect is not clinically established. This medicine requires 3 to 7 hours to reach maximum concentration in the blood and it takes multiple dosing schedules to show its effect.
  • Duration of effect
    After multiple dosing schedules, the time for which this medicine remains active in the body is not clinically established.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit forming tendency has been reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. If this medicine is prescribed, your doctor will advise you to discontinue breastfeeding.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to Gefitinib.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. If this medicine is prescribed, your doctor will advise you to discontinue breastfeeding.
General warnings

Skin reactions

Patients receiving Gefitinib have experienced severe skin reactions like toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens Johnson syndrome, and erythema multiforme. Close monitoring of symptoms like change in color of the skin, skin rashes, itching, blistering, etc. is necessary while receiving this medicine. Any such symptoms should be reported to the doctor on priority. The treatment should be discontinued if these symptoms appear.

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if the time remaining for your next dose is less than 12 hours. Do not double your dose to make up for the missed dose.

Overdose

Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Carbamazepine

Clarithromycin

Itraconazole

Phenytoin

Pantoprazole

Disease interactions

Lung disease

This medicine should be used with caution due to the risk of lung injury. Inform the doctor if you have any history of lung disease before receiving this medicine. The treatment should be discontinued if any symptoms of lung dysfunction appear.

Eye disorder

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with eye disorders like conjunctivitis or keratitis due to an increase in the risk of worsening symptoms. Inform the doctor if you have any history of eye disease before receiving this medicine. The treatment should be discontinued if symptoms worsen.

Gastrointestinal perforations

This medicine should be used with extreme caution due to an increase in the risk of gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhea, vomiting, and perforation. The risk is especially higher in patients with a history of gastrointestinal diseases. The treatment should be immediately discontinued in patients who develop gastrointestinal perforation.

Liver Disease

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a severe liver disease. In patients with mild to moderate liver disease, close monitoring of liver function is necessary. The treatment should be discontinued if there is worsening of the liver function.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take Gefitinib as instructed by the doctor. Do not consume larger quantities than prescribed. It should be used as prescribed by the doctor to prevent the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. Discontinue the treatment if any symptoms of allergic skin reactions appear.
Miscelleneous

Can be taken with or without food, as advised by your doctor

To be taken as instructed by doctor

Does not cause sleepiness

How it works
It works by blocking certain chemicals that are required for the growth of cancer cells.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

EGFR inhibitors

Schedule

Schedule H

[Internet]. 2017 [cited 21 July 2017]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/22104

Gefitinib: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Medlineplus.gov. 2017 [cited 21 July 2017]. Available from:

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a607002.html

DailyMed - gefitinib tablet, coated [Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 21 July 2017]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=827d60e8-7e07-41b7-c28b-49ef1c4a5a41

Gefitinib - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2017 [cited 21 July 2017]. Available from:

https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00317

Prescribing medicines in pregnancy database [Internet]. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 2017 [cited 21 July 2017]. Available from:

https://www.tga.gov.au/prescribing-medicines-pregnancy-database

[Internet]. Toxnet.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 21 July 2017]. Available from:

https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search2

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Information on this page was last updated on 5 Jan 2018

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.