Generic Name Brand Name
topotecan hydrochloride Hycamtin

How It Works

Topotecan is an intravenous (IV) medication usually given in a dose based on body weight. The type and extent of a cancer determines the exact dose and schedule for administering this medication.

Why It Is Used

Topotecan is a topoisomerase inhibitor that stops the growth of cancer cells by preventing cell division. It is used to treat endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, and lung cancer.

How Well It Works

Topotecan is an effective antitumor medication. However, the type and extent of a cancer determines how effectively this medication slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in the body.

Side Effects

Side effects of topotecan include:

  • Decreased white blood cell counts. Red blood cell counts and platelet counts can also be reduced.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Changes in liver function tests.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Topotecan should only be administered under the supervision of a medical oncologist.

Do not use this medication if you have:

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

Last Updated: November 26, 2008

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