Topotecan is primarily used to treat some forms of ovarian cancer and lung cancer that do not respond well to other therapies. It is also used in combination with radiotherapy to treat inoperable or untreatable cervical cancer.


What is Topotecan?

Topotecan acts by inhibiting the replication of the DNA of tumor cells.


How should Topotecan be taken?

Topotecan is administered intravenously via injection.


Side effects associated with Topotecan

Topotecan may cause serious blood and bone marrow problems. Among the possible side effects of this drug include the following:


  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Stomach ache
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness


It is important to contact a doctor immediately if you experience:


  • Rash
  • Urticaria
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
  • Cyanosis or paleness of skin and nails
  • Persistent fever , chills or sore throat
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Severe or persistent cough
  • Severe or persistent pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • Severe or persistent stomach pain or cramps
  • Severe or persistent weakness or tiredness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Jaundice


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Topotecan

During treatment with Topotecan, it is necessary to avoid contact with people struggling with infections (even a simple cold). This is because such contact may reduce the drug’s ability to fight them off. It is also advised to avoid trauma and injuries due to the possible reduction of platelets associated with the medication.


Before starting treatment with Topotecan, it is important to tell your doctor if:


  • You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients or any other drugs or food
  • You are taking any other medications, herbal remedies or supplements. Mentioning in particular:  dangerous drugs to the lungs, carboplatin, cisplatin, G-CSF or other antineoplastic drugs and hydantoins
  • You are undergoing systematic desensitization for insect allergies
  • You are suffering (or have suffered) from bone marrow problems, blood or platelet problems, kidney or lung disease
  • You have recently undergone chest radiation
  • You have recently been vaccinated
  • You are pregnant or breast- feeding