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Gefitinib is used to treat adults with non-small cell lung cancer (locally advanced or distance spread [metastasis]).

How it works

Gefitinib blocks a protein called ‘epidermal growth factor receptor’ (EGFR) which is involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Common side effects

Nausea, Pancreatic inflammation, Liver inflammation, Bleeding, Dehydration, Diarrhoea, Difficulty in urination, Lung disorder, Fever, Hair loss, Increased bilirubin in the blood, Liver enzyme increased, Increased creatinine level in blood, Itching, Dry skin, Loss of appetite, Nail disorder, Eye redness, Eye itching, Sore eyelids, Eyelid redness, Skin reaction, Mouth ulcer, Skin redness, Vomiting, Weakness


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Expert advice

  • Do not take antacids (to reduce the acid level of your stomach) 2 hours before or 1 hour after taking gefitinib.
  • Take the tablet at about the same time each day.
  • Do not give gefitinib to children.
  • Do not take gefitinib, if you are allergic to gefitinib or similar medicines or to any of the other ingredients.
  • Avoid using gefitinib, if you are pregnant or are breast-feeding.
  • Avoid becoming pregnant during treatment with gefitinib because it could harm your baby.
  • If you are taking a medicine containing warfarin as an active substance, your doctor may need to do blood tests more often.
  • You may feel weak while taking this medicine, be careful while driving or using tools or machines.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is gefitinib a chemotherapy/monoclonal antibody/what is gefitinib used for/ what is gefitinib tablets/ what is gefitinib 250/Does gefitinib cure lung cancer?
Gefitinib (250 mg) is used to treat adults with non-small cell lung cancer. It is used as an adjunct to other chemotherapies. It is not a monoclonal antibody.

Q. Is gefitinib effective/does gefitinib work?
Gefitinib is effective and works for most patients if taken at recommended dosage and duration.

Q. How is gefitinib administered?
Gefitinib is taken orally.

Content on this page was last updated on 28 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)