Topotecan injection should be given only in a hospital or clinic under the supervision of a doctor with experience in the use of chemotherapy medications for cancer.
Topotecan injection may cause low levels of white blood cells in the blood. This increases the risk that you will develop a serious infection. You should not receive topotecan injection if you already have a low number of white blood cells. Your doctor will order laboratory tests regularly before and during your treatment to check whether your body has enough white blood cells. Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking carboplatin (Paraplatin), cisplatin (Platinol), other chemotherapy medications, or filgrastim (Neupogen). If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: fever, sore throat, chills, cough, abdominal pain, or other signs of infection.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of using topotecan injection.
Topotecan is used to treat ovarian cancer (cancer that begins in the female reproductive organs where eggs are formed) and small cell lung cancer (a type of cancer that begins in the lungs) that have spread and did not improve after treatment with other medications. It is also used together with other medications to treat cervical cancer (cancer that begins in the opening of the uterus [womb]) that has not improved or has come back after other treatments. Topotecan is in a class of medications called topoisomerase type I inhibitors. It works by killing cancer cells.
Topotecan comes as a liquid to be given intravenously (into a vein) over 30 minutes by a doctor or nurse in a hospital or clinic. When topotecan injection is used to treat ovarian or lung cancer, it is usually given once a day for 5 days in a row every 21 days. When topotecan injection is used to treat cervical cancer, it is usually given once a day for 3 days in a row every 21 days. You will probably receive at least 4 cycles of treatment since it may take a while to tell if your condition has responded to the medication.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Call your doctor right away if you are unable to keep an appointment to receive a dose of topotecan injection.
loss of appetite
stomach or back pain
thinning or loss of hair
redness or bruising at the site where the medication was injected
unusual bleeding or bruising
shortness of breath
fast or irregular heartbeat
numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the hands or feet
difficulty breathing or swallowing
swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Topotecan may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
sore throat, fever, chills, and other signs of infection
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 04/16/2013
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.