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Iressa question


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Hi. I know that there has been a lot of posts about Iressa and I did go back and read and get lots of information! I just have a couple of minor questions I was wondering if someone could answer.

1. Does Iressa make you tired? It is not listed as a side effect, but my mom is exhausted.

2. Is Iressa taken for life? I forgot to ask the dr, just curious :)

3. Does the "rash" get better over time or does it stay in place?

Thanks so much :):)

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1- No not that I know of.

2- Yes, it is taken until it is no longer effective. Our oncologist said there may be a point it stops working and then he would switch to something else.

3- Unfortunately, it seems to stay. May come and go slightly, not always be so bad, but it has not gone away for John. Does she have the acne rash or the lizard skin or both? Use rich moisturizing lotion on it.

PM me if you have more questions. Hope it helps


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Hi Andrea, I took Iressa for eight weeks, it did not work for me. In response to your questions:

1. YES!!!! I got progressively weaker, at the 8 week point I was exhausted, it was all I could do to get through the day. As soon as I stopped I got my strength back in a few days.

2. I believe it is taken as long as it is working/stabilizing the tumors

3. For me the rash was minor and cleared up in a few weeks.

Good luck, Iressa has been a god send for many


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I was on the Tarceva ( a sister drug to Iressa) for seventeen months and I have been on Iressa for 2.5 months. In response to your questions,

. The nurses told me that I could experience some fatigue. I found when I was doing alot of things at one time like getting ready for the holidays I would remain tired longer. Overall, I did not find it to be a problem. I am a wife, mother to an active 8 year old, and I work as a project manager on a part time basis (22-24 hours). Remember that your body is working to heal itself with the help of the medicine. Healing takes energy.

. Yes, you stay on Iressa as long as it is controlling the disease.

. With Tarceva, I experienced the acne type rash along with increased redness to my skin tone on my face. The doctors prescribed an antibiotic for the acne and instructed me to use jojoba oil on my skin and curel lotion on my hands. With Iressa, I am experiencing severe dryness on my eyelids. I am still trying to find something to work on them.

Both are wonderful drugs when they work. I wish your mother great success with the drug. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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I experienced some fatigue on Iressa, but nothing like when I was on Taxol/Carbo.

One stays on Iressa as long as it is working.

My doctor, who was involved with Iressa trials from the very beginning, said that about 10% of users get a rash that is severe. My rash wasn't bad and it started at about the end of the first month...then subsided. I did experience dry, dry skin and some hair loss (mostly noticeable in my eyebrows/eyelashes...they kind of cycled).

I hope this proves to be the wonder drug it can be for your mother.


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My father's onc said this morning that he may stop Iressa for my father 6 months later. (My father started it 6 months ago)

He said Iressa probably stable the disease for 6-9 months, and so don't suggest him to take it for too long time.

I'm hving doubt about that as my father is doing pretty well on Iressa, and many of u said should stay on it as long as it controls the disease. :roll:

He is stage 3/4 but is NED since Mar 2004.

What's ur comment???

Any of ur onc suggest the same as my father's onc???

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I also have a question about Iressa. Due to some of its potentially damaging side effects, we were told that Iressa could only be used when there was a tumor to track on a CT scan, otherwise the doctors wouldn't be able to tell if it was working or not. The doctors would not keep a patient on it if it is not working. Is this always how it is done?

Andrea sorry to ask for more details on your Mum, but was all the tumor removed if so how are her doctors going to measure its success?


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No he should stay on the Iressa as long as it is holding him stable. Since it blocks a growth factor I would assume stopping it would allow the tumor to grow again. My husband has been on Iressa since Mar 03.

Hope that helps..

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Answers from my short remembery...

1 - I was tired, but I started Iressa two days after my radiation ended - could have been either one or both causing the fatigue (and I sure did like my mid-day naps!)

2 - I was given Iressa for a trial in suppressive therapy. The oncologist said I'd be on it for a year, but took me off after two months due to the side effects: losing weight due to the diarrhea, horrible rash, hair loss, nail brittleness, eye "pressure", etc.

3 - The rash stayed bad but was worse somedays. I used pure aloe vera lotion and took an oral antibiotic for three weeks... One thing to caution Mom about is that sunshine on the rash seems to make it worse. I wore long sleeve, non-constricting shirts all summer last year to cover my arms and tried to stay in the shade...

I hope she's doing well and is able to nap when she's really tired. Fatigue can get annoying when the person is normally active....I felt like a rag doll a lot and housework? Well, SOMETHING had to give so the dusting just didn't get done...wasn't THAT important, and there were no lethal side effects of dust on the shelves (the "boys" would wipe the dust off the TV or computer screen when it got real thick)...


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