Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Drugs & Medications

topotecan

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Hycamtin

GENERIC NAME(S): TOPOTECAN HCL

WARNINGS:

Topotecan decreases bone marrow function. This effect may lead to a low number of blood cells such as red cells, white cells, and platelets. A low number of blood cells can cause anemia, decrease your body's ability to fight an infection, or cause your body to bruise or bleed more easily. Tell your doctor if you develop any of the following symptoms: unusual tiredness, pale skin, signs of infection (such as fever, chills, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding.

Your doctor will order frequent blood tests to monitor your bone marrow function while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and laboratory appointments.

Who should not take topotecan?
See More

Uses

This medication is used to treat small cell lung cancer. It works by killing cancer cells or slowing their growth.

How to use topotecan

Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking topotecan and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily for 5 days or as directed by your doctor. Each 5-day treatment period is called a cycle. You will usually repeat this cycle every 21 days. The dosage is based on your body size, medical condition, laboratory tests, and response to treatment.

Take this medication with or without food. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not open, crush, or chew the capsules. If the capsule contents touch your skin, wash the skin immediately and completely with soap and water. If the contents get into your eyes, mouth, or nose, flush immediately with water for at least 15 minutes. Consult your doctor if you have redness/burning/swelling on the area of skin the contents touched or if the contents get into your eyes.

If you vomit after taking a dose, do not take another dose at that time. Take your next dose on your usual dosing schedule.

All people should wash their hands carefully after handling this drug. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication.

Side Effects

See also Warning section.

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, loss of appetite, weakness, and fever may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects.

Diarrhea can also be severe and may require treatment in a hospital. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any diarrhea with fever, diarrhea with stomach pain, or diarrhea 3 or more times a day.

Temporary hair loss may occur. However, normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: lung problems (such as cough, shortness of breath).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before using topotecan, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood/bone marrow disorders, kidney problems.

This drug may make you weak or tired. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

Topotecan can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Therefore, wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received the polio vaccine taken by mouth or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.

To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially diarrhea and decreased bone marrow function.

This medication should not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss reliable forms of birth control with your doctor. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.

This drug may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. Breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.

Other medications can affect the removal of topotecan from your body, which may affect how topotecan works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as ketoconazole), cyclosporine, macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), HIV protease inhibitors (such as ritonavir), among others.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as complete blood count, kidney function test) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C). Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.

Images

HYCAMTIN 0.25 MG CAPSULE
HYCAMTIN 0.25 MG CAPSULE
View Larger Picture
color
No data.
shape
No data.
imprint
No data.
HYCAMTIN 1 MG CAPSULE
HYCAMTIN 1 MG CAPSULE
View Larger Picture
color
No data.
shape
No data.
imprint
No data.
HYCAMTIN 0.25 MG CAPSULE
HYCAMTIN 0.25 MG CAPSULE

Identification

color
No data.
shape
No data.
imprint
No data.
This medicine is a white, oblong capsule imprinted with "HYCAMTIN" and "0.25 mg".
HYCAMTIN 1 MG CAPSULE
HYCAMTIN 1 MG CAPSULE

Identification

color
No data.
shape
No data.
imprint
No data.
This medicine is a pink, oblong capsule imprinted with "HYCAMTIN" and "1 mg".

Add to Cabinet

Add Adderall to my medicine cabinet.

Did you know?

With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.

Go to medicine cabinet

Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

More about Drugs and Medications

Newsletters

Subscribe to free WebMD newsletters.

  • WebMD Daily

    WebMD Daily

    Subscribe to the WebMD Daily, and you'll get today's top health news and trending topics, and the latest and best information from WebMD.

  • Men's Health

    Men's Health

    Subscribe to the Men's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, nutrition, and more from WebMD.

  • Women's Health

    Women's Health

    Subscribe to the Women's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, diet, anti-aging, and more from WebMD.

By clicking Submit, I agree to the WebMD Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices