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Drug Guide    I   Irinotecan

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   Irinotecan

Irinotecan
(injection) (injectable)


Treats cancer of the colon or rectum.

ALTERNATE NAMES

Camptosar


 
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 Irinotecan images:

OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions



Irinotecan
Camptosar
Uses
Treats cancer of the colon or rectum.



How To Use
  • APPEARANCE: Injectable. Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects.
  • Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits.
  • It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment. You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center.
  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given.
  • This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins. Irinotecan is given slowly, so the IV will need to be left in place for about 90 minutes.
  • You may also be given other cancer medicines and medicines to help prevent nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Tell your caregiver right away if any of this medicine gets on your skin or in your eyes, nose, or mouth. You may need to continue receiving treatments as long as your body responds to the medicine.

Side Effects
  • Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects: Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing. Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood. Decrease in how much or how often you urinate. Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches. Lightheadedness, dizziness, unusual drowsiness, or fainting. Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body. Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet. Pain in your lower leg (calf). Red, black, or tarry stools. Redness, pain, or swelling where the needle is placed. Severe diarrhea (may be watery, bloody, or black), stomach pain, cramping, tenderness. Severe nausea or vomiting. Slow heartbeat Sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking. Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet. Unusual bleeding, or bruising. Unusual tiredness or weakness. Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

Precautions
  • You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to irinotecan, or if you are pregnant.
  • You should not take St.
  • John's Wort or ketoconazole (Nizoral®) before receiving this medicine.

Missed Dose
  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule.
  • If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

Drug Interactions
  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby.
  • Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant.
  • If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away. Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, severe bone marrow disease, blocked bowels, or a condition called hereditary fructose intolerance. This medicine often causes diarrhea.
  • Early diarrhea happens while you are getting a dose of medicine or shortly after the dose.
  • You may also feel warm or have a runny nose, watery eyes, or stomach cramps.
  • Tell your caregiver if this happens. You may have late diarrhea more than 24 hours after you get a dose of this medicine.
  • Call your doctor if this happens, especially if you have more than 7 bowel movements in one day.
  • Ask your doctor about using any medicine to treat the diarrhea. This medicine may increase your risk of having blood clots.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you start having sudden and severe headache, trouble breathing, or problems with vision, speech, or walking. This medicine may make you dizzy and may cause vision problems.
  • Avoid doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or not able to see well. This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body.
  • Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily.
  • To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured.
  • Brush and floss your teeth gently.
  • Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers. Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects. Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine.
  • Be sure to keep all appointments.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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