Irinotecan (Camptosar®) For the Treatment of Cancer
It is chemotherapy given for the treatment of cancer.
How It Is Given
It is injected into vein.
Common Side Effects
- Diarrhea—may occur during the irinotecan infusion or days after the treatment.
- Abdominal cramping and pain.
- Possible nausea and vomiting.
- Reduced blood counts.
- Hair loss occurs, but is not permanent.
- Loss of appetite.
Less Common Side Effects
- Muscle cramps
- Skin changes, rash
- Temporary effect on liver function
- Sore mouth and taste changes
Call Your Health Care Provider if You Develop
- Diarrhea that persists for more than 3 days even while taking medicine.
- Nausea and vomiting not controlled with medicine.'
- Temperature over 100.8°F.
- Anti-diarrhea medicine to use is loperamide (Imodium A-D) and is a non-prescription medicine.
- Take loperamide at the first sign of diarrhea. The first dose is 4 mg (2 tablets), then take 2 mg (1 tablet) every 2 hours until you are free of diarrhea for at least 12 hours. 4 mg (2 tablets) may be taken every 4 hours during the night.
- Drink plenty of fluids, ie, water or broth. Do not drink fruit juices.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 09/16/2011
Copyright © 09/16/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5568
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