What is Tagrisso? | Information & FAQ

Last updated: 14 October 2022

What is Tagrisso? | Information & FAQ

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Article reviewed by Dr. Jan de Witt

What is Tagrisso (osimertinib)?

Tagrisso (osimertinib) is a kinase inhibitor for treating a lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) when the cancer is advanced or metastasized (stage 4). It is used in patients with a T790M mutation in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR):1,2

  • as first-line treatment of patients whose tumours have EGFR exon 19 deletions or exon 21 L858R mutations
  • as second line treatment of patients whose disease has progressed on or after EGFR TKI therapy

It is available in tablet form each containing 40mg or 80mg osimertinib.1

How much does Tagrisso (osimertinib) cost?

For more information about how much Tagrisso costs and how we can help you access it, please click on the button below:

Does Tagrisso (osimertinib) kill cancer cells?

No, Tagrisso is a targeted therapy, which helps to slow or stop the cancer cells from growing or help to shrink the tumor. It may help prevent your lung cancer from coming back after its removal by surgery. It does not kill cancer cells.3

Is Tagrisso (osimertinib) a chemotherapy?

No, Tagrisso is not a chemotherapy, but a targeted therapy. Targeted therapies work differently than traditional chemotherapy. Chemotherapy kills rapidly dividing cells, and can affect many types of cells in the body, including healthy cells. Targeted therapies are designed for specific types of cancer to block the growth and spread of cancer cells. Targeted therapies are not chemotherapy or immunotherapy.3

Is Tagrisso (osimertinib) an immunotherapy?

No, Tagrisso is not an immunotherapy, but a targeted therapy. Targeted therapies work differently than traditional chemotherapy. Immunotherapy stimulates the immune system to help the body fight cancer. Targeted therapies are designed for specific types of cancer to block the growth and spread of cancer cells. Targeted therapies are not chemotherapy or immunotherapy.3

How is Tagrisso (osimertinib) administered?

Tagrisso is a once-daily tablet. You can take your tablet with or without food. If a dose is missed, take it as soon as you can if it is within 12 hours of the missed dose. If it is more than 12 hours since your missed dose, skip this missed dose and continue with your usual dosing times.1,2

Can you cut Tagrisso (osimertinib) in half?

No, Tagrisso cannot be cut, crushed or heated. In case you cannot swallow Tagrisso tablets whole, dissolve your tablet in still water (see official prescribing information for instructions). Stir the tablet until it is in small pieces (the tablet will not completely dissolve).1,2

What are the side effects of Tagrisso (osimertinib)?

The most common adverse reactions (≥25% of patients) listed in the prescribing information include:1,2

  • diarrhoea
  • rash
  • dry skin
  • nail toxicity
  • feeling tired (fatigue)

The serious adverse reactions listed in the prescribing information include:1,2

  • interstitial lung disease (ILD)/pneumonitis
  • pneumonia
  • heart rate disturbances (QTc Interval Prolongation)
  • cardiomyopathy
  • keratitis (inflammation of the cornea of the eye).

Complete information about Tagrisso dosage and administration can be found in the official prescribing information listed in our references section.1,2

Can you drink alcohol while taking Tagrisso?

The drinking of alcohol (in small amounts) does not appear to affect the safety or effectivity of Tagrisso. In general, taking alcoholic drinks should be minimised or avoided completely. Discuss this with your treating doctor.1

When was Tagrisso (osimertinib) FDA approved?

Tagrisso has been approved for advanced or metastatic NSCLC in patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) T790M mutation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USA on:4

  • November 13, 2015, with accelerated approval as a second-line treatment
  • March 30, 2017, as a second-line treatment
  • April 18, 2018, as a first line treatment

Tagrisso has also been approved by:

  • European Medical Agency (EMA), European Union:5
    • February 2, 2016 as a second-line treatment
    • June 11, 2018 as a first-line treatment
  • Health Canada, July 19, 2016 as a first- and second-line treatment.6
  • Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Australia, August 3, 2016 as a second-line treatment.7
  • Medsafe, New Zealand, October 5, 2017 as a first-line treatment.8

How effective is Tagrisso (osimertinib)?

Tagrisso has been shown to give people more time in which the cancer did not get worse. The median progression-free survival was 18.9 months for Tagrisso vs 10.2 for standard chemotherapy. People treated with Tagrisso also lived longer: the median overall survival was 38.6 months for Tagrisso vs 31.8 months for standard chemotherapy.9

Who manufactures Tagrisso (osimertinib)?

Tagrisso is manufactured by AstraZeneca plc. AstraZeneca plc is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company with its headquarters in Cambridge, England. AstraZeneca has a portfolio of products for major disease areas including cancer, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, infection, respiratory and inflammation.


  1. FDA Product information
  2. EMA Product information
  3. Tagrisso.com
  4. FDA.gov
  5. AstraZeneca.com
  6. AstraZeneca.com
  7. TGA Australia Product information
  8. MedSafe New Zealand Product information
  9. Tagrisso.com
  10. Tagrisso (osimertinib)- TheSocialmedwork.com

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