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Irinotecan - Intravenous - Patient Medicine Information

> Why do I need this medicine?
> How do I use this medicine?
> What should I do if I have forgotten to use this medicine?
> When should I not use this medicine?
> What should I take note of while using this medicine?
> What side effects could I experience?
> Can I use this with other medicines?
> What special dietary instructions should I follow?
> How should I store this medicine?

 
Available Brands

Other Known Brands
  • Irnocam    

Why do I need this medicine?

Irinotecan is used on its own or together with other anti-cancer medicines to treat cancer of the colon or rectum.

How do I use this medicine?

Irinotecan is to be given intravenously (into the vein) via a drip. It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel. Irinotecan is usually given over 30-90 minutes. You will need to rest in the hospital ward or clinic while you are on the Irinotecan drip.

Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.

Before the Irinotecan drip is started, you may be given other medicines to prevent or lessen the side effects of Irinotecan. These medicines may be given as tablets or as injections.

What should I do if I have forgotten to use this medicine?

Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any dose.

If you miss an appointment with your doctor, arrange for a replacement appointment as soon as possible.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.

When should I not use this medicine?

Do not use Irinotecan if:
- you ever had an allergic reaction such as rashes, breathlessness or swollen eyes, to Irinotecan or to any of the ingredients used in the making of this medicine.
-you have any bowel disease or bowel blockage.
-you have serious liver problem.
-your bone marrow is not producing enough blood cells.

Alert your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant while being treated with Irinotecan. Irinotecan may cause harm to your baby. It is important that you do not get pregnant while being treated with Irinotecan. Use effective birth control methods while being treated with Irinotecan.

Alert your doctor if you are breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while being treated with Irinotecan.

What should I take note of while using this medicine?

Alert your doctor if you have:
-liver disease.
-received radiotherapy to the hip or abdomen region.
You may need a lower dose of Irinotecan.
-lung disease. Your doctor may need to monitor you more closely for possible side effects with Irinotecan.
-diabetes. Your doctor may need to monitor your blood sugar more closely.
-kidney disease.

Alert your doctor if you have recently been vaccinated. The vaccine may not work well or may cause an infection when used together with Irinotecan. Do not have any vaccinations without first asking your doctor for advice.

You will need to have regular blood tests to check your blood counts as well as your liver function. Your doctor will advise you on how often you will need to have these tests.

Irinotecan is not meant for use in children. It is not known whether Irinotecan can be used safely or effectively in children.

What side effects could I experience?

Irinotecan may cause both early and and late form of diarrhoea or delayed diarrhoea.

Early diarrhoea is one that occurs during or shortly after Irinotecan drip. You may also experience sweating, stuffy nose, abdominal cramping, tearing, change in vision and excessive presence of saliva with early diarrhoea. Inform your doctor quickly if it occurs. You doctor can give you a medicine (atropine) to treat early diarrhoea.

Delayed diarrhoea is one that occurs more than 24 hours after Irinotecan drip. Inform you doctor quickly if it occurs. You should have received anti-diarrhoea medicine from your doctor. Start taking the anti-diarrhoea medicine exactly as directed by your doctor as soon as the first liquid stool occurs and drink plently of fluid including water, soup, fruit juice, rehydration drink or sports drink.

Contact your doctor immediately if:
-you have black or bloody stools.
-you have symptoms of dehydration (or excessive loss of body fluid) such as light-headedness, dizziness or faintness. Dehydration can cause kidney problems, however this is rare.
-you cannot take fluid by mouth due to nausea and vomiting.
-diarrhoea is still not under control after 24 hours.
-you have fever.

Irinotecan may cause nausea and vomiting. Medicine to reduce nausea and vomiting may be given before the Irinotecan drip and for a few days after Irinotecan use. Inform your doctor if you get nausea and vomiting especially if you are also having diarrhoea.

Irinotecan may cause the level of your white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets to drop.

White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Alert your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.

Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.

Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Alert your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).

Other common side effects of Irinotecan include hair loss, feeling weak, abdominal pain, abdominal cramping, dizziness, inability to sleep and pain at infusion site.

Let your doctor know if these side effects bother you or if they do not go away.

Avoid driving or any activity in which you need to be alert if Irinotecan causes dizziness, tiredness or vision problems.

Some side effects are not common but may be serious. Alert your doctor immediately if you experience:
-breathlessness, or develop swelling or flushing of face, swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, hands or feet, rashes, itchy or runny nose. These may be symptoms of an allergic reaction.
-sudden breathing difficulties, cough and fever. These may be symptoms of lung disease.
-shortness of breath, chest plain and cough with bloody sputum. These may be symptoms of having a blood clot in the lung.

Alert your doctor if you notice any other side effects while being treated with Irinotecan.

Can I use this with other medicines?

Alert your doctor if you are using:
-carbamazepine, phenobarbital or phenytoin, these are medicines used for fits.
-ketoconazole, an anti-fungal medicine.
-rifampicin, an antibiotic.
-suxamethonium, a medicine used in surgery to relax muscles.
-St. John's Wort, a herbal medicine used for treatment of depression or sleeping problem.

Do not have any vaccinations without first asking your doctor for advice.

Alert your doctor if you have previously received radiotherapy at your hip or abdomen region. You may experience more side effects if you use radiation together with Irinotecan.

Always inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Avoid alcohol.

How should I store this medicine?

Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Keep Irinotecan in its original carton to protect from light.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.

This information is independently developed by MIMS based on Irinotecan - Intravenous and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2019 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by MIMS.com

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