Topotecan - oral

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Topotecan is used to treat small cell lung cancer that has relapsed after chemotherapy.
How do I take this medicine?
Take Topotecan exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

You may take this medicine with or without food. Swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the capsule. Try to take it at the same time each day.

If you vomit after taking a dose of Topotecan, a replacement dose should not be taken.

The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment time frame depending on the type and severity of your condition.
What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
When should I not use this medicine?
Do not take Topotecan 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. This medicine may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking Topotecan.

Do not breastfeed while being treated with this medicine.
What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • blood cell count problems
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. Routine tests (e.g. complete blood count, kidney function tests) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
What side effects could I experience?
Topotecan may cause any of the following side effects: tiredness, weakness, hair loss, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • vomiting blood, bloody or black stool
  • severe diarrhoea e.g. more than 3 episode of diarrhoea per day, diarrhea with fever or stomach pain
  • signs of infection such as fever, urinary problems e.g. pain or burning sensation when urinating.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I take this with other medicines?
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • medicines for high blood pressure or heart disease e.g. verapamil
  • certain antibiotics e.g. azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin
  • medicines for fungal infection e.g. ketoconazole
  • medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin, tacrolimus
  • medicines for HIV infection e.g. saquinavir
  • other medicines for cancer e.g. cisplatin
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Topotecan.

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.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8 °C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.

Store away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.

As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired capsules to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the normal household waste.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on topotecan - oral 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 © 2021 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by
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