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How it works

Topotecan 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

Fatigue, Nausea, Vomiting, Hair loss, Reduced blood platelets, Anemia, Infection, Decreased white blood cell count (neutrophils), Fever, Mucosal inflammation, Weakness, Diarrhoea, Decreased white blood cell count, Decreased appetite, Abdominal pain, Constipation

Available Medicine

  • ₹7500
    Glaxo SmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd
    1 variant(s)
  • ₹5125
    United Biotech Pvt Ltd
    1 variant(s)
  • ₹4430
    Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd
    1 variant(s)
  • ₹2137 to ₹5000
    Venus Remedies Ltd
    2 variant(s)

Expert advice

  • Before you take topotecan, inform your doctor if have /are being treated for kidney disease.
  • If you are undergoing a surgery including dental surgery, do inform your doctor that you are being treated with topotecan.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery as topotecan may cause tiredness, drowsiness or weakness.
  • Take precautions while using topotecan as it may cause severe diarrhea requiring hospitalization.
  • You should get your blood count monitored regularly to check for any signs of serious infections.
  • Stop using topetecan and immediately report any pulmonary symptoms indicative of interstitial lung disease (e.g. cough, fever, dyspnoea and/or hypoxia).
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions



How often is topotecan given?
Generally topotecan treatment is for 4 cycles of 21 day each, patient is given topotecan for first 5 days of each cycle


Does topotecan cause hair loss?
Yes, Topotecan may cause temporary hair loss


Does topotecan cause flare reaction?
Yes, Topotecan may cause flare reaction

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How long does topotecan take to work?
The drug may start its action once the infusion is started, however, the complete effect may be assessed only after completion of 4 cycles


Is topotecan a vesicant?
Topotecan is a vesicant (irritant)


Is topotecan effective/ effective in ovarian cancer?
Yes topotecan is effective if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor


What is topotecan chemotherapy?
It is a treatment therapy that includes topotecan with or without combination of other drugs in treatment of cancer (Usually ovarian or lung cancer)


How is topotecan administered?
Topotecan is either administered orally as a capsule or as an intravenous Infusion in the arm over a period of 30 min.

Content on this page was last updated on 16 February, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)