Irinotecan

Description

Irinotecan is an anticancer agent used either alone or in a combination with other anticancer drugs for the treatment of colorectal cancer. This medicine is not recommended for use in patients less than 18 years of age.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Irinotecan

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Baldness
  • Weight loss
  • Infections
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration

Uses of Irinotecan

What is it prescribed for?

  • Colorectal Cancer
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The amount of time required for this medicine to show its action is not clinically established.
  • Duration of effect
    The amount of time for which this medicine remains active in the body is not clinically established.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit-forming tendencies were reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women except in life-threatening conditions. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding for a specific period of time or prescribe an alternative medicine based on your clinical condition.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to irinotecan or any other inactive ingredients present along with this medicine.

Bowel obstruction

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients suffering from an active bowel obstruction due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition.

Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients suffering from chronic inflammatory bowel diseases due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women except in life-threatening conditions. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding for a specific period of time or prescribe an alternative medicine based on your clinical condition.
General warnings

Diarrhea

This medicine should be used with extreme caution due to the increased risk of severe diarrhea. This risk is especially higher in patients with a history of gastrointestinal diseases. Report any unusual symptoms to the doctor immediately. Appropriate corrective measures, dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary in some cases based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Hematologic abnormalities

This medicine should be used with extreme caution due to the increased risk of bone marrow suppression and hematologic abnormalities such as anemia and low blood cell counts. Close monitoring of complete blood cell counts, appropriate corrective measures, dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Driving or Operating machinery

This medicine may cause symptoms such as drowsiness or dizziness in some patients. It is advised that you do not perform any activities such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery if you experience any of these symptoms during treatment with this medicine.

Missed Dose

This medicine is usually given in multiple cycles. If you miss a scheduled dose of this medicine, call your doctor immediately for further instructions.

Overdose

Since this medicine is usually administered in the clinical/hospital setting, the likelihood of an overdose is very low. However, emergency medical treatment will be initiated by the doctor if an overdose is suspected.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Live attenuated vaccines and related products

Phenytoin

Ketoconazole

Cyclosporine

St John’s wort (mainly for mild depression)

Disease interactions

Liver impairment

This medicine should be used with extreme caution in patients with a history of liver diseases due to the increased risk of serious adverse effects. Close monitoring of liver function tests, appropriate dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary in some cases based on the clinical condition of the patient.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
This medicine is given in multiple cycles. It is important to receive every scheduled dose of the medicine. Follow all the instructions given by your doctor. Report any unusual symptoms or a missed dose to the doctor immediately. Close monitoring of blood cells counts, kidney function tests and liver function tests may be necessary in some cases based on the clinical condition. It is advised that you report to the doctor all your current medicines including any herbs and supplements as well as your medical history before beginning therapy with this medicine.
Miscelleneous

Usage does not depend on food timings

To be taken as instructed by doctor

May cause sleepiness

How it works
It works by stopping the growth of cancer cells by inhibiting DNA synthesis.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Antineoplastics, Topoisomerase Inhibitors

Schedule

Schedule H

[Internet]. Mhra.gov.uk. 2018 [cited 24 July 2018]. Available from:

http://www.mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/spcpil/documents/spcpil/con1531718387222.pdf

[Internet]. Medicines.org.uk. 2018 [cited 24 July 2018]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/9083/smpc#EXCIPIENTS

[Internet]. Ebs.tga.gov.au. 2018 [cited 24 July 2018]. Available from:

https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/ebs/picmi/picmirepository.nsf/pdf?OpenAgent&id=CP-2018-PI-01852-1

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Information on this page was last updated on 25 Jul 2018

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.