Background and objective: Gefitinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI), is an effective therapeutic agent for non-small cell lung cancer with EGFR mutations. It can cause severe acute pneumonitis in some patients. We previously demonstrated that mice with naphthalene-induced airway epithelial injury developed severe gefitinib-induced pneumonitis and that neutrophils played important roles in the development of the disease. This study aimed to investigate the effects of the neutrophil elastase inhibitor sivelestat on gefitinib-induced pneumonitis in mice. Methods: C57BL/6J mice received naphthalene (200 mg/kg) intraperitoneally on day 0. Gefitinib (250 or 300 mg/kg) was orally administered to mice from day −1 until day 13. Sivelestat (150 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally from day 1 until day 13. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung tissues were sampled on day 14. Results: Sivelestat treatment significantly reduced the protein level, neutrophil count, neutrophil elastase activity in BALF, and severity of histopathologic findings on day 14 for mice administered with 250 mg/kg of gefitinib. Moreover, sivelestat treatment significantly improved the survival of mice administered with 300 mg/kg of gefitinib. Conclusions: These results indicate that sivelestat is a promising therapeutic agent for severe acute pneumonitis caused by gefitinib.