Temsirolimus is used to treat advanced cancer of the kidney and previously treated mantle cell lymphoma, a type of cancer affecting the lymph nodes.
Temsirolimus injection is to be given intravenously (into the vein) or via drip. It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
You will need to rest in the hospital ward or clinic while you are receiving this medicine. Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Temsirolimus.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Do not take Temsirolimus if you ever had an allergic reaction (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to similar medicines such as sirolimus.
Alert your doctor if you have moderate to severe liver disease as Temsirolimus may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Temsirolimus if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Temsirolimus may cause harm to your unborn child. You and your partner must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine. Avoid getting pregnant or avoid fathering a child with your partner during treatment and for 3 months after you stop taking this medicine.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- cancer that begins elsewhere in the body and spreads to the brain
- liver disease
- high level of cholesterol in the blood
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to the elderly. Elderly people may be more likely to experience side effects.
If you will undergo or have undergone an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. The vaccine may not work well or may cause an infection when used together with Temsirolimus. Do not receive any vaccinations without first asking your doctor. Also, avoid close contact with people who have been recently vaccinated.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your liver and kidney function before you start using this medicine and periodically during treatment. Your doctor may also need to do routine blood tests (e.g. complete blood count, blood sugar, cholesterol) while you are being treated with this medicine.
Temsirolimus may cause dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects may include any of the following: headache, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, mouth sores, hair loss, swelling, weight loss, weakness, muscle or joint pain, back pain, rash, nail disorders, dry skin, itching, cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, bleeding from the nose, altered taste or loss of taste, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and depression.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- swelling of the hands, feet, eyes, lips, tongue
- chest pain, shortness of breath, flushing, loss of consciousness
- new or worsening stomach pain, blood in stool
- unusual bleeding or bruising
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines for cancer e.g. sunitinib, vincristine, lenalidomide, paclitaxel
- medicines for high blood pressure or heart disease e.g. ramipril, amlodipine, diltiazem, verapamil, digoxin
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital
- medicines for tuberculosis or TB e.g. rifampicin, rifabutin
- medicines for fungal infection e.g. ketoconazole, itraconazole
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, atazanavir, indinavir
- certain antibiotics e.g. clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin
- medicines for depression e.g. desipramine, nefazodone
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin, dabigatran
- herbal medicines e.g. St. John’s wort
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Temsirolimus.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol, grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
Store in a refrigerator, between 2-8ºC. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used. Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As this is a cancer medicine, unused or expired medicine must be returned to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal.