Lung Cancer Home > Cancer and Iressa

Approved to treat non-small cell lung cancer, Iressa® (gefitinib) is a chemotherapy drug that works by interfering with how cancer cells grow and divide. This prescription medication is approved only for use in adults. It comes as a tablet that is taken once daily.
Clinical studies have been done on using Iressa for non-small cell lung cancer. During these studies, it was determined that Iressa does not help people live longer. In fact, other medications have been shown to help people with this particular cancer to live longer. As a result, the manufacturer of Iressa stopped making the medication for use in the United States in 2011, and it is no longer available in the United States.
Iressa is reserved for use in people who are already taking this drug and are benefiting from it, or people who have benefited from Iressa treatment in the past.
(Click Iressa Uses to read more about how this drug is used to treat cancer, including a more in-depth description of how it works.)
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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