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Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Topoisomerase I Inhibitor Hycamtin® Cancer-related

Topotecan - What is it for

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

Topotecan - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Topotecan cause?

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 diarrhea:
      • 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

Please see your healthcare professional immediately if any of the following occurs:

  • Fever of 38° C and above, especially with chills, pain or difficulty in passing urine
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising or black sticky stools
  • Very bad diarrhea (e.g. more than 4 times a day) that does not improve even after taking medications used to stop diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath, dry cough that does not go away or worsens

Before taking Topotecan , what precautions must I follow?

​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.
  • You are taking or intend to take any other medication, supplements, traditional medications or herbal remedies

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Topotecan ?

Topotecan - Dosage and How to Use

How should Topotecan be used?

​Topotecan is an injection that is given into your vein (intravenous).

What should I do if I miss a dose?

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

What should I do if I overdose?

Topotecan - Handling

How should I handle Topotecan safely?

Topotecan - Storage

How should I store Topotecan ?

How should I dispose of Topotecan safely?

Topotecan - Additional Information

You may refer to the following website if you need more information:


  • Updated on 9/30/2019 12:00:00 AM
  • Article contributed by Department of Pharmacy PSS National Medication Information Workgroup
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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