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Gefitinib Side Effects

Common Side Effects

Gefitinib has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking gefitinib were carefully documented. As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred and how often they appeared.
In these studies, the most common side effects of gefitinib included:
  • Diarrhea -- in up to 67 percent of people
  • Rash -- up to 54 percent
  • Acne -- up to 33 percent
  • Dry skin -- up to 26 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 18 percent
  • Loss of appetite -- up to 10 percent
  • Vomiting -- up to 9 percent
  • Itching -- up to 9 percent
  • Loss of strength and energy -- up to 9 percent
  • Weight loss -- up to 5 percent.
Other common side effects, occurring in 1 percent to 2 percent of people, included:
  • Swelling of the arms, hands, legs, ankles, or feet
  • An eye that turns inward or outward ("lazy eye")
  • Shortness of breath
  • Red and inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Blisters on the skin
  • Sores or ulcers in the mouth.

Final Thoughts

You may experience some or none of the side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, there is no way for your healthcare provider to know beforehand if you will have problems with a medicine that you have never tried.
Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects while taking gefitinib or if something "just does not seem right." While it may not be related to the medication, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
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