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Irinotecan (Camptosar) Drug for Cancer: Use, Side Effects, Interactions




Irinotecan
(Camptosar, United States and Canada)

More drugs used for Cancer.

Use:

Irinotecan or Camptosar is used in the treatment of colorectal cancer.

How It Works:

Irinotecan or Camptosar is a camptothecins or topoisomerase I inhibitor. By blocking this enzyme in cells, damage occurs when the cell replicate, and thus the cancer cell growth is controlled. It is available as an injection.
Irinotecan or Camptosar is second line therapy for cancer that progresses in spite of standard treatment such as 5-fluorouracil.

Side Effects:

Irinotecan or Camptosar can cause severe diarrhea, but high doses of loperamide will usually control. Hospitalization may be needed if the diarrhea is severe.

Cautions for People:

People must realize that while Irinotecan or Camptosar offers an alternative which may optimize therapy, the colon cancer may not be "cured".

Drug Interactions:

Often given in combination with other drugs, Irinotecan or Camptosar affords no untoward drug interactions.

Further Reading:

Drugs 1996;51(1):45
Eur J Cancer 1995;31A:1283
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 1996;38Suppl:S3
Cancer Res 1996;56(16):3752
J Clin Oncol 1996;14(3):709

Added to Virtual Drugstore November 1996.

The relevant product monographs must be regarded as the appropriate sources of prescribing information.













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