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Drugs reference index «Camptosar»

Camptosar
Camptosar
Camptosar


Camptosar

Generic Name: irinotecan (EYE ri noe TEE kan)Brand Names: Camptosar

What is irinotecan?

Irinotecan is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Irinotecan is used to treat cancers of the colon and rectum. It is usually given with other cancer medicines in a combination chemotherapy.

Irinotecan may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about irinotecan?

Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could cause harm to the unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Irinotecan can cause severe diarrhea, which can be life-threatening if it leads to dehydration. Diarrhea can occur soon after your injection or more than 24 hours later.

Your doctor may recommend you have an anti-diarrhea medicine such as loperamide (Imodium) available at all times while you are receiving irinotecan. Take the anti-diarrhea medication at the first sign of loose or frequent bowel movements.

Call your doctor if you still have diarrhea after 24 hours of taking anti-diarrhea medicine.

Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with irinotecan, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving irinotecan?

Do not receive this medication if you are allergic to irinotecan.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely receive irinotecan:

  • liver disease;
  • an intestinal disorder or obstruction;

  • Gilbert's syndrome;

  • diabetes;

  • fructose intolerance (irinotecan contains sorbitol); or

  • if you are receiving radiation treatment to your abdomen or pelvic area.

FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not receive irinotecan without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether irinotecan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is irinotecan given?

Irinotecan is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take up to 90 minutes to complete. The irinotecan injection is usually followed by infusions with other cancer medications. These combination chemotherapy treatments are usually given at weekly intervals for several weeks.

Before starting your irinotecan injection, you may be given medications to help prevent nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other side effects. You may also need to use some of these medications for at least a day after your irinotecan injection.

Irinotecan can cause severe diarrhea, which can be life-threatening if it leads to dehydration. Diarrhea can occur soon after your injection or more than 24 hours later.

Your doctor may recommend you have an anti-diarrhea medicine such as loperamide (Imodium) available at all times while you are receiving irinotecan. Take the anti-diarrhea medication at the first sign of loose or frequent bowel movements.

Call your doctor if you still have diarrhea after 24 hours of taking anti-diarrhea medicine. Do not take loperamide for longer than 2 full days without your doctor's advice.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment to receive your irinotecan injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have received too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, and severe diarrhea.

What should I avoid while using irinotecan?

Do not use a laxative or stool softener during treatment with irinotecan. These products can worsen diarrhea that may be caused by irinotecan.

Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with irinotecan, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you.

Avoid getting this medicine on your skin. If this happens, wash the area thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Irinotecan can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Irinotecan side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • loose stools, watery diarrhea;

  • bloody or black stools;

  • runny nose, watery eyes, increased sweating, stomach cramps, and warmth, tingling, or redness under your skin;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;

  • sudden numbness or weakness, headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;

  • chest pain, pain or swelling in one or both legs;

  • swelling or irritation where the IV needle is placed;

  • nausea or vomiting that keeps you from drinking enough fluids; or

  • signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth, increased thirst, drowsiness, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • loss of appetite, constipation;

  • dizziness;

  • redness or peeling of the skin on your hands and feet;

  • cough,

  • temporary hair loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect irinotecan?

Before receiving irinotecan, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • a diuretic (water pill);

  • atazanavir (Reyataz);

  • ketoconazole (Nizoral);

  • rifabutin (Mycobutin);

  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane);

  • St. John's wort; or

  • seizure medicine such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), or phenytoin (Dilantin).

This list is not\ complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with irinotecan. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about irinotecan.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.02. Revision Date: 06/23/2009 11:57:26 AM.
  • Camptosar Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Camptosar Consumer Overview
  • Camptosar Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Camptosar MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Irinotecan Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Irinotecan Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)

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