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    Information about Irinotecan

    Irinotecan uses

    How irinotecan works

    Irinotecan is an anti-cancer medication. It is an inhibitor of topoisomerase, an enzyme important for replication of genetic material (DNA) in the cancer cells. Thus it stops the growth and multiplication of cancer cells.

    Common side effects of irinotecan

    Fatigue, Nausea, Vomiting, Weakness, Hair loss, Fever, Anemia, Diarrhoea, Decreased white blood cell count (neutrophils), Decreased appetite, Mucosal inflammation

    Available Medicine for Irinotecan

    • ₹1800 to ₹3857
      Fresenius Kabi India Pvt Ltd
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹1825 to ₹4084
      Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹1802 to ₹4095
      Celon Laboratories Ltd
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹1187 to ₹2688
      Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹1980 to ₹4500
      Alkem Laboratories Ltd
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹1895 to ₹3563
      United Biotech Pvt Ltd
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹781
      Neon Laboratories Ltd
      1 variant(s)
    • ₹81
      Cipla Ltd
      1 variant(s)
    • ₹1999 to ₹4097
      Eli Lilly and Company India Pvt Ltd
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹4279
      Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
      1 variant(s)

    Expert advice for Irinotecan

    • You will be monitored for blood cell counts before each treatment session. 
    • Seek immediate medical attention if you notice passage of blood in stools or experience dizziness or faintness, continuous episodes of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea or fever.
    • Tell your doctor if you have received radiation therapy in the past.
    • Inform your doctor if you have diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol or high blood pressure or any liver or kidney or heart or lung disorders. .
    • Do not drive or operate any machines as irinotecan may cause drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
    • Patients allergic to irinotecan or any of its ingredients should not take it.
    • Patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease and or bowel obstruction should not take it.
    • Patients with severe liver disease or severe bone marrow failure should not take it.
    • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking it.

    Frequently asked questions for Irinotecan


    Q. Is Irinotecan a vesicant?

    Irinotecan is not a known vesicant but a precaution should be taken to avoid severe local tissue damage upon extravasation (leaking of injected Azacitidine into the surrounding tissues from the site of administration) when injected

    Q. Is Irinotecan chemotherapy?

    Yes. Irinotecan is chemotherapy, used in the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer

    Q. Does Irinotecan cause hair loss?

    No, Irinotecan is not known to cause hair loss

    Q. Why does Irinotecan cause diarrhea?

    Irinotecan damages rapidly dividing normal and cancer cells. Chemotherapy with Irinotecan damages normal cells of gastrointestinal tract, leading to a disruption in the fluid balance that they maintain. Specifically, absorption of fluid from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract back into the body is decreased and secretion of fluid and electrolytes in the stool is increased. This causes watery bowel movements, i.e diarrhea

    Q. Does Irinotecan cure cancer?

    No. Irinotecan can improve symptoms and prolong life of a patient.

    Content on this page was last updated on 06 October, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)