Specialty Drug

Generic Hycamtin

TOPOTECAN is a chemotherapy drug. It is used to treat lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and cervical cancer. Compare topoisomerase inhibitors.

Topotecan Side Effects

What should I watch for?

This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.

Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.

Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.

Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine or within 1 month of stopping it. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.

Men must use a latex condom during sexual contact with a woman while taking this medicine and for 3 months after you stop taking this medicine. A latex condom is needed even if you have had a vasectomy. Contact your doctor right away if your partner becomes pregnant. Do not donate sperm while taking this medicine and for 3 months after you stop taking this medicine.


Interactions with Medications

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Abdominal or stomach pain

black, tarry stools

blood in the urine or stools

cough or hoarseness (accompanied by fever or chills)

fever or chills

lower back or side pain (accompanied by fever or chills)

painful or difficult urination (accompanied by fever or chills)

pinpoint red spots on the skin

troubled breathing

unusual bleeding or bruising

unusual tiredness or weakness


Changes in the skin color of the face

fast or irregular breathing

large, hive-like swellings on the face, eyelids, mouth, lips, or tongue

puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes

skin rash, hives, or itching

tightness in the chest

Incidence not known

Bleeding gums

difficulty with swallowing


fast heartbeat

skin rash or itching, severe

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Burning or tingling in the hands or feet




loss of appetite

muscle weakness

nausea or vomiting

sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or tongue or inside the mouth

Topotecan sometimes causes bruising or redness at the place of injection. Check with your doctor or nurse if these effects are especially bothersome.

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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