Managing your team:
being your own best advocate during treatment

Nobody understands exactly what your body is going through the way you do. So if you feel changes in your symptoms, your side effects, or your overall health, you are the “early warning system” for your treatment team. Let your doctor or nurse know what’s happening, whether it’s good or bad. Here are some things you can do to be your own best advocate:

Always ask questions, and request answers that you understand. If you’re not quite getting something, it’s perfectly OK to ask them to “break it down” in a simpler way for you.

Don’t hesitate to tell your doctor or nurse what’s on your mind. Open communication with your doctor, nurse, or other treatment team members is extremely important. The more information you can give them, the better they can help you.

Lean on your nurse, who may have more time to work with you than your doctor and may be able to explain things better.

When something is working, be sure to let your treatment team know. This applies to treatments and remedies for side effects, as well as how your team works with you. Positive feedback helps everyone.

Keep your medical records and documents together in a binder or folder and bring them with you to appointments.

Keep a list of all of your medications and supplements. Always update it when it changes, and make sure your treatment team is aware of everything you’re taking.

Make note of the improvements, symptoms, and side effects you might feel, so you can discuss them better with your team.

Take a friend or family member with you to your appointments to help you take notes and ask questions you might forget.

Up next: Diet & Exercise >

Important Safety Information

Before taking IRESSA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have lung or breathing problems
  • ever had liver problems
  • have vision or eye problems
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. IRESSA can harm your unborn baby.
    • Females who are able to become pregnant should use an effective method of birth control during treatment with IRESSA and for at least 2 weeks after the last dose of IRESSA. You should avoid becoming pregnant during treatment with IRESSA.
    • Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant during treatment with IRESSA.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if IRESSA passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with IRESSA. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby during this time.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

If you take a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), H2 blocker, or an antacid medicine, talk to your healthcare provider about the best time to take it during treatment with IRESSA.

If you take a blood thinner called warfarin, your healthcare provider should do blood tests regularly to check how fast your blood clots, during treatment with IRESSA.

 

What are the possible side effects of IRESSA?

IRESSA may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Lung or breathing problems. IRESSA may cause inflammation of the lung that may lead to death. Symptoms may be similar to those symptoms from lung cancer. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new or worsening lung problems, or any combination of the following symptoms: trouble breathing or shortness of breath, cough, or fever.
  • Liver problems. IRESSA may cause inflammation of the liver that may lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of a liver problem which may include: yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes (jaundice), dark or brown (tea colored) urine, light-colored bowel movements (stools), decreased appetite, or pain on the right side of your stomach (abdomen).Your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check your liver function during your treatment with IRESSA.
  • A tear in the wall of your stomach or intestines (perforation). Get emergency medical help right away if you have severe stomach (abdomen) pain.
  • Diarrhea. Diarrhea is common with IRESSA and can sometimes be severe. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have severe diarrhea or diarrhea that will not go away.
  • Eye problems. Tell your healthcare provider if you get watery eyes, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, eye pain, eye redness, or vision changes.
  • Skin reactions. Skin redness, rash, itching, and acne are common with IRESSA. This may occur on any part of your body. Get medical help right away if you develop severe skin reactions such as peeling or blistering of your skin.

IRESSA may cause fertility problems in females. Talk to your healthcare provider if you plan to become pregnant.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of IRESSA. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is IRESSA?

IRESSA is a prescription medicine used to treat people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body and:

  • that have certain types of abnormal epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) genes, and
  • who have not had previous treatment for cancer

Your healthcare provider will perform a test to make sure that IRESSA is right for you.

Please see full Prescribing Information including Patient Information.

Open/Close

Important Safety Information

Before taking IRESSA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have lung or breathing problems
  • ever had liver problems
  • have vision or eye problems
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. IRESSA can harm your unborn baby.
    • Females who are able to become pregnant should use an effective method of birth control during treatment with IRESSA and for at least 2 weeks after the last dose of IRESSA. You should avoid becoming pregnant during treatment with IRESSA.
    • Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant during treatment with IRESSA.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if IRESSA passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with IRESSA. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby during this time.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

If you take a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), H2 blocker, or an antacid medicine, talk to your healthcare provider about the best time to take it during treatment with IRESSA.

If you take a blood thinner called warfarin, your healthcare provider should do blood tests regularly to check how fast your blood clots, during treatment with IRESSA.

What are the possible side effects of IRESSA?

IRESSA may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Lung or breathing problems. IRESSA may cause inflammation of the lung that may lead to death. Symptoms may be similar to those symptoms from lung cancer. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new or worsening lung problems, or any combination of the following symptoms: trouble breathing or shortness of breath, cough, or fever.
  • Liver problems. IRESSA may cause inflammation of the liver that may lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of a liver problem which may include: yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes (jaundice), dark or brown (tea colored) urine, light-colored bowel movements (stools), decreased appetite, or pain on the right side of your stomach (abdomen).Your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check your liver function during your treatment with IRESSA.
  • A tear in the wall of your stomach or intestines (perforation). Get emergency medical help right away if you have severe stomach (abdomen) pain.
  • Diarrhea. Diarrhea is common with IRESSA and can sometimes be severe. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have severe diarrhea or diarrhea that will not go away.
  • Eye problems. Tell your healthcare provider if you get watery eyes, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, eye pain, eye redness, or vision changes.
  • Skin reactions. Skin redness, rash, itching, and acne are common with IRESSA. This may occur on any part of your body. Get medical help right away if you develop severe skin reactions such as peeling or blistering of your skin.

IRESSA may cause fertility problems in females. Talk to your healthcare provider if you plan to become pregnant.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of IRESSA. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is IRESSA?

IRESSA is a prescription medicine used to treat people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body and:

  • that have certain types of abnormal epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) genes, and
  • who have not had previous treatment for cancer

Your healthcare provider will perform a test to make sure that IRESSA is right for you.

Please see full Prescribing Information including Patient Information.