Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Gefitinib

Gefitinib

Last updated on 04/08/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Gefitinib

CHINESE NAME: 吉非替尼

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Iressa 益患適

DRUG CLASS: Antineoplastics

SUB CLASS: Tyrosine kinase inhibitors

USED FOR: Targeted cancer therapy, Treatment of lung cancer, Treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 250 mg (tablets)

What is Gefitinib for?

Gefitinib belongs to a class of medications called tyrosine kinase inhibitors. It blocks the action of abnormal proteins that signal cancer cells to multiply, which stops the growth of malignant tumours. It is used to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

How to use it?

Gefitinib is available as tablets. It may be taken with or without food. Take Gefitinib with a glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablet.

If you have difficulty swallowing the tablet, you may dissolve the whole tablet in half a glass of plain water. Do not use carbonated water or any other type of drinks. Drop the tablet in water and stir for about 10 minutes, without crushing, until the tablet dissolves, and drink immediately. Rinse the glass with another half a glass of plain water and drink to ensure that no medicine remains in the glass.

Non-small cell lung cancer (EGFR positive)
Adult
Take 250 mg once daily.

What are the side effects of Gefitinib?

Common side effects of Gefitinib include asthenia (weakness), nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, dry eye, dry mouth, dehydration, nail problems, hair loss, and dry, itchy, red or cracked skin.

Who should not take Gefitinib?

– People allergic to Gefitinib or any component of the formulation

Pharmacist Tips:

– This medication can cause unusual weakness. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how you respond to Rifaximin.
– You will need regular blood tests, liver/kidney function and thyroid hormone level tests during Gefitinib treatment. Your doctor may order other tests too.
– Do not breastfeed while using this medicine.
– Do not take antacids within 6 hours before and after taking Gefitinib.

Common dosing schedule:
Gefitinib is taken once daily, with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Gefitinib may interact with:
– Antibiotics, e.g. Clarithromycin, Telithromycin, Rifampicin
– Antifungals, e.g. Ketoconazole, Itraconazole, Voriconazole
– Anticonvulsants, e.g. Phenobarbital, Phenytoin, Sodium Valproate
– Antiretrovirals, e.g. Ritonavir, Indinavir, Saquinavir
– Acid-reducing agents, e.g. Ranitidine, Omeprazole, Pantoprazole
– Warfarin
– St. John’s Wort

Gefitinib may interact with many other medications. Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Gefitinib in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Gefitinib is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Gefitinib in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.