Hycamtin

Generic Name: Topotecan hydrochloride

  • What is Hycamtin?

    Hycamtin is a medicine that is used to treat a type of lung cancer called relapse small cell lung cancer.
  • What is the most important information I should know about Hycamtin?

    Taking Hycamtin capsules affects your bone marrow and can cause a severe decrease in your blood cell counts (bone marrow suppression), neutrophils (a type of white blood cell important in fighting bacterial infections), red blood cells (blood cells that carry oxygen to the tissues), and platelets (important for clotting and control of bleeding).

    If you develop fever or other signs of infection such as chills, cough, or burning pain on urination, tell your doctor. Your doctor should perform frequent blood tests while you are taking Hycamtin.

    Diarrhea may occur from taking Hycamtin capsules, and may be serious enough that you must be treated in the hospital. Tell your doctor if you experience diarrhea.

    Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away. Your healthcare provider may change your dose of Hycamtin capsules to a dose that is better for you or may stop your treatment with Hycamtin capsules for a while. This can help reduce the side effects and may keep them from getting worse. Let your healthcare provider know if this helps or does not help your side effects.

    Hycamtin capsules should not be opened or crushed. Direct contact of the capsule contents with the skin or mucous membranes should be avoided. If such contact occurs, wash thoroughly with soap and water or wash the eyes immediately with gently flowing water for at least 15 minutes. Consult the healthcare provider in case of a skin reaction or if the drug gets in the eyes.

  • Who should not take Hycamtin?

    You should not take Hycamtin if are allergic to it, if you are pregnant or think that you may be pregnant, if you are breastfeeding, or if you have low blood counts.
  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Hycamtin?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medication you are taking before beginning treatment with Hycamtin. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The recommended dose of Hycamtin capsules is 2.3 mg/m2/day once daily for 5 consecutive days, repeated every 21 days.

  • How should I take Hycamtin?

    Hycamtin capsules may be taken with or without food. The capsules must be swallowed whole and must not be chewed, crushed, or divided. If you vomit after taking the dose of Hycamtin, you should not take a replacement dose.
  • What should I avoid while taking Hycamtin?

    Hycamtin capsules may make you feel drowsy or sleepy both during and for several days after treatment. If you feel tired or weak, do not drive and do not use heavy tools or operate machinery.
  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Hycamtin?

    If Hycamtin is taken with certain other drugs, the effect of either medication could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining with P-glycoprotein inhibitors such as: cyclosporine, elacridar, ketoconazole, ritonavir, and saquinavir.
  • What are the possible side effects of Hycamtin?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: stomach problems such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, hair loss, weakness, decreased white blood cells and platelets, anemia

  • Can I receive Hycamtin if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    You should not take Hycamtin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should use effective methods of birth control while on Hycamtin. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Hycamtin?

    If you miss a dose of Hycamtin, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take two doses at the same time.
  • How should I store Hycamtin?

    Hycamtin capsules should be refrigerated. Throw away capsules that are out of date or no longer needed.