Generic name: Gefitinib
Therapeutic Class: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine
Manufacturer / Distributor: AstraZeneca
Availability: Gefitinib is available by prescription
Indications: Gefitinib is
used in the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer in people who have already
been unsuccessfully treated with certain other chemotherapy medications.
Gefitinib may also be used to treat
other medical conditions not mentioned in this article; talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more
Gefitinib comes as a
tablet to take by mouth
Dosage: Gefitinib is available in the form of
a brown, round, biconvex and film-coated tablet; each tablet contains 250 mg of gefitinib. Usually, the
recommended dose is one tablet of 250 mg, taken once daily. You can take the drug with or without food; however,
Gefitinib is recommended to be taken around the same time every day. If you cannot swallow the tablet whole,
dissolve it in water. Take the medication exactly as prescribed your health care provider. Although Gefitinib
appear small, do not take more or more often; this can lead to serious health problems.
on several factors, your doctor can recommend you a different Gefitinib dosage. Usually, to determine what
dosage is most appropriate to your condition, your doctor will consider your body surface area, health status,
and the severity of the
cancer. Usually, patients who are
taking other chemotherapy medications, are can be given a lower. It is important to take and complete the
therapy as indicated. If for some good reasons you cannot continue taking the drug, do not stop without first
consulting your oncologist.
Storage: store Gefitinib
at room temperature (15-25 ° C), away from heat, light and moisture. Keep your medications out of the reach of children
and all drugs should not be used beyond the expiration date printed on the container.
Overdose: chemotherapy drugs, even when taken at
normal dose, can damage the bone marrow, and cause serious decrease in the number of blood cells in your
body. Gefitinib overdose may be dangerous, mainly in fragile
patients, or if taken for long term. Contact your doctor or the poison control center nearest you if you
experience the following symptoms:
- shortness of
- Signs of infection:
fever, sore throat, chills, cough, etc.
take Gefitinib as
indicated your doctor or pharmacist.
In case you forget to
take a dose, take the missed one as soon as you remember it. If, however, it is almost time for your next
do not double it to recover the missed one; it can be dangerous. Contact your doctor or wait to go back to your
regular schedule. This applies not only to Gefitinib
but also any other drug.
contraindicated in patients who suffer from:
any of its ingredients
- EGFR-negative tumors- EGFR stands for epidermal growth factor
your doctor if you are pregnant/breast-feeding, or have:
- pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of
- liver problems
- kidney disease.
Mechanism of action (MOA):
Gefitinib is an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)
tyrosine kinase inhibitor; i
t reduces tumor proliferation by inhibiting tyrosine kinases, enzymes highly involved in intracellular transmission
of signals inducing cell proliferation.
Interactions: tell your doctor about all the
medications you are taking; many other medications may interact with Gefitinib. Talk to your doctor before
vitamins, nutritional supplements or St. John's wort. Tell your doctor and
pharmacist if you are taking any of these medications:
inhibitors: atazanavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir
antifungals: itraconazole, ketoconazole,
antibiotics: clarithromycin, erythromycin
- barbiturates: mephobarbital, pentobarbital, secobarbital
- histamine H2-receptor
- Proton pump
Side effects: Gefitinib not only attack
cells but also normal
(healthy) cells, which often leads to, in certain patients, the following side effects:
nausea and vomiting,
doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:
symptoms: muscle cramps,
decreased blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, etc.
- black, tarry
blue, or black discoloration of the skin
- itchy or
- ulcer on
the surface of the eye
- fast or
irregular heart beat
reactions or on the lips: ulcers, blisters, pain, redness, scaling, etc.