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Irinotecan Dosage

Your dosage of irinotecan will be determined using your height and weight, other medical conditions you have, and various other factors. Depending on whether you are using other chemotherapy drugs, a dose is given every one to three weeks. The medication is administered intravenously (by IV) by a healthcare provider.

An Introduction to Your Dosage of Irinotecan

The dose of irinotecan (Camptosar®) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on:
  • Your height and weight
  • How you tolerate the medication
  • Other medications you are taking (whether you are using irinotecan alone or in combination with other chemotherapy medicines)
  • Other medical conditions you may have.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.

Irinotecan Dosing Guidelines

The standard dosage of irinotecan for the treatment of colon or rectal cancer is based on body surface area, which is calculated using your height and weight. Normally, the medication is given no more often than once a week, for a period of several weeks, followed by a break. This is known as a treatment cycle. Your healthcare provider will choose a treatment cycle that works best for you.
Your healthcare provider may adjust your dosage, recommend you stop receiving treatment, or delay your next treatment cycle if you experience certain side effects, such as reduced blood cell counts or severe diarrhea. Your healthcare provider may also recommend you stop treatment if your cancer is not responding.
Your healthcare provider may also recommend you have a genetic, or DNA, test before starting irinotecan treatment. This is because people who have a variation in a gene known as UGT1A1 may have an increased risk for developing irinotecan side effects and, therefore, may need a lower initial irinotecan dosage.
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Irinotecan Drug Information

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