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Irinotecan Side Effects

Most people who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment with irinotecan will experience some type of side effect from the drug. Some of the most commonly reported side effects include hair loss, vomiting, and diarrhea. This drug can also cause potentially serious complications, such as allergic reactions or infusion reactions, which may require immediate medical treatment.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Irinotecan

Just like any medicine, irinotecan (Camptosar®) can cause side effects. As with other chemotherapy medicines, the side effects can be significant. In fact, most people will experience some type of reaction during irinotecan treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to help manage any problems you develop.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with irinotecan. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
 

Serious Irinotecan Side Effects

Some side effects of irinotecan are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
 
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
 
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth, tongue, face, lips, or throat
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
    • Sudden cough
 
  • Certain symptoms during or after your irinotecan infusion, such as:
 
    • Runny nose
    • Watery mouth or eyes
    • Sweating
    • Flushing (sudden redness or warmth of the face, neck, or chest)
    • Diarrhea
    • Abdominal (stomach) cramps
 
 
    • Rash
    • Peeling
    • Dry skin
    • Redness
    • Swelling
 
  • Burning or stinging while receiving your injection
  • Sores, blisters, pain, or swelling in the mouth or throat
  • Vision or speech changes, weakness or numbness on one side of the body, or a severe headache
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools
  • Vomiting blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Signs of an infection, such as:
 
 
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Abdominal (stomach) cramping, swelling, fullness, or constipation
  • Warmth, redness, swelling, or pain in one or both legs
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
 
    • Thirst
    • Dry mouth and lips
    • Lightheadedness
    • Less frequent urination
 
  • Problems breathing, shortness of breath, or a new or worse cough
  • Unusual tiredness, lack of energy, or dizziness
  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice).
 
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Irinotecan Drug Information

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