Topotecan Injection

Medication Information Leaflet

​What is this medication for?

Topotecan injection is used alone or together with other chemotherapy to treat certain types of cancer such as cervical, ovarian or lung cancer.

How should I take/use this medication?

Topotecan injection is given into your vein (intravenous).

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to receive a dose of Topotecan injection, reschedule an appointment with your hospital as soon as possible.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 
  • You are allergic to this medication 
  • You or your partner becomes pregnant, or is planning for pregnancy
    • You should use effective birth control during treatment and for a period of time after you finish treatment.
    • Topotecan may affect your ability to have children in the future. You may wish to discuss this with your doctor before starting treatment.
  • You are breastfeeding
    • Do not breastfeed during treatment

What are some side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

  • Fever of 38° C and above, especially with chills, pain or difficulty in passing urine
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising or black sticky stools
  • Very bad diarrhoea (e.g. more than 4 times a day) that does not improve even after taking medications used to stop diarrhoea 
  • Shortness of breath, dry cough that does not go away or worsens
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your healthcare professional immediately.


What are some other side-effects of this medication?

Early Side Effects (within days after receiving Topotecan injection)
  • Mild nausea, vomiting or appetite loss
    • Take small, frequent meals throughout the day.
    • Take the medications for nausea or vomiting as instructed by your doctor if any.
Delayed Side Effects (within days to weeks after receiving Topotecan injection)
  • Feeling tired and lack of energy
    • Do not drive or operate machinery when you feel tired.
  • Decreased white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets
    •  This may put you at higher risk of infections, bleeding or bruising and feeling tired.
    • To reduce your risk of infection:
      • Avoid crowds and people who are sick. Wear a face mask when you are going out.
      • Wash your hands after using the toilet and before handling food.
      • Eat food that is fresh and completely cooked, and avoid raw or half-cooked food.
    • To reduce your risk of bleeding problems:
      • Be careful when using sharp objects such as knives.
      • Try not to bruise, cut or knock yourself.
      • Brush your teeth gently as your gums may bleed more easily.
      • Apply direct pressure to any cuts or wounds to help stop bleeding.
  • Diarrhea or constipation
    • To manage diarrhoea:
      • Drink plenty of clear fluids to replace those lost (2 litres everyday).
      • Avoid oily or spicy food and milk or dairy products.
    • To manage constipation:
      • Drink more water or clear fluids (if you do not have a limit on the amount that you can take each day).
      • Add more fibre to your diet by eating more fruits and vegetables.
  • Temporary hair loss

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking or intend to take any other medication, supplements, traditional medications or herbal remedies.

You may refer to the following website if you need more information: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/ 


Disclaimers
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore.

Last updated on September 2019
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Topotecan Injection

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