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What is a generic medication?
Generic medications are significantly discounted copies of brand name medication that have the same active ingredients, intended use, dosage, side effects, effects, and route of administration as the original brand name medication. In other words, generic medications have the same pharmacological effects as their brand-name counterparts. Over half of all prescribed medications are for generic medications.
Iressa Helps Treat the Following Conditions:
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the second-most common type of cancer, mostly caused by smoking. Up to 85 percent of all lung cancers are non-small-cell lung cancer, which is relatively unresponsive to chemotherapy.
Iressa Active Ingredient
Generic Iressa Alternative: Iressa
Iressa contains the active ingredient gefitinib, which blocks tyrosine kinase, a protein in the body which is thought to contribute to the growth of cancer cells.
General Drug Information
What is Iressa and What Is It Used For?
Iressa contains the active ingredient gefitinib, which inhibits tyrosine kinase, a certain protein in the body which is thought to contribute to the growth of cancer cells. This drug is prescribed to patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, and who have a mutation in the epidermal genes known as EGFR gene mutation. Such mutations occur in ten percent of all non-small cell lung cancer tumors.
Usage and Application
Most patients are prescribed one tablet a day, with or without food.
It is necessary to take Iressa regularly in order to experience its full benefit. To reduce the risk of forgetting, patients are advised to take the medication at the same time each day.
Patients should consult with their doctor or pharmacist if they are taking drugs that reduce or block stomach acid. Such drugs like proton pump inhibitors, H2 blockers and antacids may decrease the absorption of Iressa, reducing its effectiveness.
Considerations Before Taking Iressa
Before starting treatment, patients need to discuss the possibility of allergic reactions to Iressa.
It is vital to discuss the patient’s medical history, especially any lung disease (like pulmonary fibrosis), severe kidney disease and eye problems.
Patients should alert their doctor in the event they are smokers. Stomach ulcers, diverticulitis, intestinal blockage, bowel disease or cancer that has spread to the bowels should also be reported.
Iressa may harm an unborn baby and is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk but its use by nursing mothers is not recommended due to the high risk potential to infants.
Delayed and Omitted Doses
Patients who miss a dose of Iressa should take it as soon as they remember. However, do not take a missed dose within 12 hours of the next dose. If you remember near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and proceed as usual. Patients should not double up the dose in order to catch up.
Other Medications and Iressa
Drug interactions may change the way Iressa works,and can increase the risk of side effects. Before starting treatment, patients need to discuss the full list of medications and supplements they are taking with their doctor. Patients should not change their dose or stop taking this medication unless their physician advises them to do so.
As mentioned in the How to Use section, drugs that reduce or block stomach acid may decrease the absorption of Iressa.
Patients should alert their doctor in the event they are taking blood thinners like Coumadin, or stomach acid medications like ranitidine, cimetidine, famotidine, omeprazole, lansoprazole and rabeprazole.
Some medications affect how gefitinib – Iressa’s active ingredient – is metabolized by the body. Examples of drugs which act as CYP3A4 inhibitors are antifungal medications ketoconazole, itraconazole, erythromycin and clarithromycin.
Iressa also negatively interacts with the chemotherapy medication vinorelbine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil and Naprosyn, and corticosteroids such as prednisone.
Most patients are able to take Iressa safely without serious side effects.
Some patients may experience rash, acne, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite. Nail problems and hair loss have also been reported, in addition to unusual weakness and sore mouth or throat. Patients should inform their doctor or pharmacist in the event these symptoms persist.
Vomiting, diarrhea or loss of appetite which last for a long time may result in severe dehydration and kidney problems. Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, decreased urination, fast heartbeat and dizziness.
Patients with persistent diarrhea or skin rashes may have to temporarily stop taking Iressa. The pause may be as long as 14 days, allowing for symptoms to subside before the treatment is continued. Patients should consult their doctor in the event they experience such symptoms.
In rare cases, serious side effects such as coughing up blood, blood in the urine, eye pain, and swelling of the ankles and feet have been observed.
Iressa may cause a rare and possibly fatal condition known as interstitial lung disease (ILD). Patients should monitor for symptoms like trouble breathing, cough or fever.
Serious allergic reactions to Iressa are rare, yet patients should be aware of allergy symptoms such as rash, itching and swelling, severe dizziness and trouble breathing.
How to Store Iressa
Iressa should be stored at room temperature, away from light or moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep away from children and pets.
Unwanted medication should be disposed of properly and should not be poured into drains or flushed down the toilet. Patients should consult a pharmacist or their local waste disposal company to find out more about safe disposal methods.
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