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Irinotecan

IRINOTECAN is a chemotherapy drug. It is used to treat colon and rectal cancer. Compare topoisomerase inhibitors.
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Camptosar Side Effects

What should I watch for?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. You will need important blood work done while you are taking this medicine.

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.

In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.

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. 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.

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Common and Rare Side Effects

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

Anxiety

black, tarry stools

blood in the urine or stools

blurred vision

changes in skin color

chest pain or discomfort

chest tightness or heaviness

chills

clay colored stools

cold hands and feet

confusion

constricted pupils

cough or hoarseness

dark urine

diarrhea with or without stomach cramps or sweating

dizziness

fainting

fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat

fever

full or bloated feeling or pressure in the stomach

headache

increased production of saliva

increased tear production

itching

lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position

loss of appetite

low blood pressure or pulse

lower back or side pain

nausea or vomiting

numbness or tingling in the face, arms, or legs

pain

pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially calves of the legs

pain in the shoulders, arms, jaw, or neck

painful or difficult urination

pale skin

pinpoint red spots on the skin

redness or swelling of the leg

runny nose

severe headache of sudden onset

shortness of breath or troubled breathing

skin rash

slow breathing

slurred speech

sore throat

stomach pain

stopping of the heart

sudden and severe weakness in the arm or leg on one side of the body

sudden loss of coordination

sudden vision changes

sweating

swelling

swelling of the abdomen or stomach area

temporary blindness

tenderness, pain, or swelling of the arm, foot, or leg

trouble with speaking or walking

ulcers, sores, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth

unconsciousness

unpleasant breath odor

unusual bleeding or bruising

unusual tiredness or weakness

vomiting of blood

warm, red feeling over the body

yellow eyes or skin

Less common

Bleeding gums

coughing up blood

decreased urination

difficulty with swallowing

dryness of the mouth

increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding

increased thirst

nosebleeds

paralysis

prolonged bleeding from cuts

sneezing

wheezing

wrinkled skin

Rare

Decreased amount of urine

decreased frequency of urination

fast, irregular, or troubled breathing

hives

increased blood pressure

puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue

rapid weight gain

Incidence not known

Abdominal or stomach pain and tenderness

agitation

bloated or full feeling

burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings

coma

constipation

depression

heartburn or indigestion

hostility

irritability

lethargy

muscle pain and cramps

muscle twitching

pain in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back

pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck

rectal bleeding

severe abdominal or stomach cramping or burning

severe and continuing nausea

stupor

swelling of the face, lower legs, ankles, fingers, or hands

tightness in the chest

unusual tiredness or weakness

vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds

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

Acid or sour stomach

belching

blistering, peeling, redness, or swelling of the palms of hands or bottoms of the feet

cracked lips

excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines

feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings

numbness, pain, tingling, or unusual sensations in the palms of hands or bottoms of feet

passing gas

right upper abdominal or stomach pain and fullness

sensation of spinning

sleepiness or unusual drowsiness

sleeplessness

stomach discomfort, upset, or pain

trouble sleeping

unable to sleep

weight loss

Incidence not known

Hiccups

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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