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Iressa

What is Iressa

Iressa is a cancer chemotherapy medication. Iressa interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Iressa is used in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.

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

General medical information about Iressa

Iressa 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 Iressa 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 Iressa.

What you should find out before taking Iressa

Do not use Iressa without first talking to your doctor if you have
- liver disease; or
- lung or breathing problems (other than lung cancer).

You may not be able to take Iressa, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Iressa is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that it is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use Iressa without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Birth control should be used during treatment with Iressa.

It is not known whether Iressa passes into breast milk. Do not take Iressa without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should you use Iressa

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

Take each dose of Iressa with a full glass of water.

Iressa can be taken with or without food.

Your doctor will determine the correct amount and frequency of treatment with Iressa depending upon the type of cancer being treated and other factors. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the treatment schedule.

It is important to take Iressa regularly to get the most benefit.

Your doctor may want you to have blood tests and other medical evaluations during treatment with Iressa to monitor progress and side effects.

Your healthcare provider will store Iressa as directed by the manufacturer. If you are storing Iressa at home, follow the directions provided by your healthcare provider.

If you miss a dose:

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of Iressa.

What happens if you overdose:

If an overdose of Iressa is suspected, seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Symptoms of a Iressa overdose tend to be similar to side effects caused by the medication, although often more severe.

What should you avoid while using Iressa

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activity during treatment with Iressa unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Possible side effects of Iressa

If you experience any of the following serious side effects from Iressa, 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 Iressa 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 Iressa.

What other drugs will affect Iressa

Before taking Iressa, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- warfarin (Coumadin);
- rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane);
- phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek);
- ketoconazole (Nizoral);
- itraconazole (Sporanox); or
- a stomach acid reducer such as cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB), ranitidine (Zantac, Zantac 75), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), and others.

You may not be able to take Iressa, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Many other drugs may interact with Iressa. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

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