Brand name: Camptosar
Other names: Camptothecin-11, CPT-11
alkaloid and topoisomerase I inhibitor
Manufacturer / Distributor:
is available by prescription only
Irinotecan is used in the treatment of advanced colorectal
cancer. The drug can be taken
alone or in combination with other anti-cancer drugs such as 5-FU (fluorouracil).
Irinotecan can be prescribed for other medical
conditions not mentioned in this article; talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Irinotecan comes as a
liquid to be given intravenously into a vein
Dosage: Irinotecan is given by intravenous
injection over a period of about 90 minutes, usually in combination with other drugs. The usual dose is either
180 mg/m2 (milligram per square meter) of body
surface area (BSA), every two weeks in polychemotherapy; or 350 mg/m2 in monochemotherapy every 3 weeks. However, in cases your body develops
adverse reactions, the dosage can be reduced. Irinotecan should be administered by a specialist in
oncology/hematology, or by competent nurse having experience in giving chemotherapy drugs.
Overdose: the fact that
Irinotecan is administered in hospital by medical professionals, the risk of overdose is greatly reduced; however,
it can happen. Irinotecan overdose often causes severe headache and
reinforces the toxic effects of the medication. If you suspect that you are suffering from an overdose, contact
your doctor immediately. There is no known antidote for Irinotecan overdose; however, your physician can intervene
and prevent complications.
after receiving a
you may experience runny nose, increased saliva, shrinking pupils, watery eyes, sweating, flushing, diarrhea or
mild stomach cramps; this does not mean you are overdosed. Most patients experience those side effects.
contraindicated or should be used with precaution in the following conditions:
- Pregnancy or
or to one
of its ingredients
number of white blood cells
(presence of bilirubin in the
to three times than normal
liver failure, kidney failure, or chronic lung disease.
Mechanism of Action (MOA):
Irinotecan is an antineoplastic (anticancer) agent; it kills cancer cells by interfering with their genetic
material (DNA), which prevents them from reproducing or multiplying.
Talk you to your doctor
vitamins, nutritional supplements, or St. John's worth. In addition, it is important to tell your
oncologist before taking any of the following drugs:
(Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin,
Phenytek); rifabutin (Mycobutin)
Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate and Rifater).
effects: by stopping
the growth of
cells, Irinotecan also interfere with your healthy cells that multiply quickly; this often cause adverse
effects. Common Irinotecan side effects include:
- Perte des cheveux
- nausea and
of sores in the mouth
disorders (constipation or diarrhea).
cause serious side effects which require immediate medical attention; contact your doctor immediately if you
experience any of these symptoms:
- shortness of breath or
- painful or difficulty
- yellowing of the skin
or eyes (jaundice)
- skin disorders such as
rash, hives or itching
- Swelling of your arms,
feet, ankles, or lower legs.