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topotecan (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using topotecan (Hycamtin)?

You should not use topotecan if you have:

To make sure you can safely use topotecan, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use topotecan if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether topotecan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using topotecan.

How should I use topotecan (Hycamtin)?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Topotecan is usually given once daily for 5 days in a row. This treatment is then repeated every 21 days, usually for at least 4 treatments. It may take several weeks for your body to respond to the medication.

Topotecan capsules are taken by mouth. You may need to take two different colored capsules at one time. Make sure you know the difference between capsules because one contains 4 times as much topotecan as the other, even though they may look the same in size.

Take the topotecan capsule with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. You may take the medicine with or without food.

If you vomit after taking a topotecan capsule, do not take another dose that same day. Call your doctor for instructions.

Do not crush or break a topotecan capsule, or use a capsule that has been accidentally broken. The medicine from a broken capsule can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes or on your skin. If this occurs, wash your skin with soap and water or rinse the eyes for at least 15 minutes with plain water. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely handle and dispose of a broken tablet or capsule.

Store topotecan capsules in the refrigerator and protect them from light.

Topotecan injection is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Topotecan must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 30 minutes to complete.

Tell your doctor right away if any of this medicine gets on your skin during the injection. If this does happen, the exposed skin should be rinsed thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Topotecan can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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