Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all of the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor to benefit your condition as much as possible. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

Swallow the capsule whole with water. Do not open, crush, break, or chew it.

You may take this medicine with or without food.

Be careful not to handle broken or leaking capsules. If you get the contents from the capsule on your skin, wash the area with soap and water and call your doctor right away. If the medicine gets in your eyes, rinse them immediately with gently flowing water for at least 15 minutes and call your doctor right away.

Topotecan often causes nausea and vomiting. It is very important that you continue to receive the medicine even if it makes you feel ill. Ask your doctor for ways to lessen these effects.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (capsules):
    • For small cell lung cancer:
      • Adults—Dose is based on body size and must be determined by your doctor. The dose is 2.3 milligrams per square meter of body surface area once a day for 5 days. Your dose will be repeated every 21 days.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

If you vomit after taking your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.