Cancer Home > Precautions and Warnings With Temsirolimus
People who are undergoing treatment with temsirolimus should know that this medication may increase the risk for infections, lung problems, and bleeding in the brain. Also, this medicine should not be used by people who have moderate-to-severe liver impairment or those who are taking certain medications. Other warnings and precautions with temsirolimus apply to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Receiving Temsirolimus?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving temsirolimus (Torisel®) if you have:
- Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
- High cholesterol or triglycerides (lipids in your blood)
- Plans to receive a vaccination
- Lung disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- A tumor in your brain or spinal cord
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Specific Temsirolimus Precautions and WarningsSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving this medication include the following:
- Temsirolimus can increase your risk for developing infections, including potentially serious fungal, bacterial, or viral infections. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you experience signs of an infection, such as:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Sore throat
- Some people receiving temsirolimus may experience allergic reactions, including potentially life-threatening reactions. Your healthcare provider may give you an intravenous (IV) antihistamine medication, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl®, Sominex®, and many others), about 30 minutes before you receive your temsirolimus injection. This is to help reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. You could experience allergic reactions even if you have received the medication before without any problems.
- This medication should be used with caution, and at a lower dose, in people with mild liver disease.
- Temsirolimus may cause an increase in blood glucose (blood sugar) that may require treatment with medications. If you are already being treated for high blood glucose, you may need a higher dosage of your glucose medicine. Your healthcare provider will test your blood sugar before, and routinely throughout, treatment. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience an increase in thirst or urination, as these may be signs of high blood glucose.
- Keep all your healthcare provider and laboratory appointments while receiving this medicine. You will need routine monitoring and blood tests to monitor your response to the medicine.
- You may develop high blood lipids (high cholesterol and triglycerides) during temsirolimus treatment, which may require treatment with a high cholesterol medication. Your healthcare provider will obtain blood tests to check your cholesterol before and during treatment.
- Temsirolimus has been reported to cause a potentially life-threatening inflammation of the lungs. Contact your healthcare provider if you develop any signs of lung problems, such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- A new or worsening cough.
- Temsirolimus may cause bowel perforation, which is a hole in the bowel. This problem can be life-threatening. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience bloody stools, or new or worsening abdominal (stomach) pain.
- This medication can cause kidney failure that can be life-threatening.
- Wounds may not heal properly while you are undergoing temsirolimus treatment. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you have wounds that are red, oozing, or do not seem to heal. Also, tell your healthcare provider if you have plans for surgery while receiving temsirolimus.
- Temsirolimus may increase the risk for bleeding in the brain. People who have central nervous system tumors (such as brain tumors) or who take anticoagulant medications have an even higher risk for this side effect during temsirolimus treatment (see Drug Interactions With Temsirolimus).
- Talk to your healthcare provider before getting any type of vaccination or immunization during temsirolimus treatment. Vaccinations may be less effective during temsirolimus treatment. You could also become infected with the bacteria or viruses used to make "live" vaccines (see Drug Interactions With Temsirolimus). Try to avoid close contact with people who have recently received a live vaccine.
- Temsirolimus may react with a number of other medications (see Drug Interactions With Temsirolimus).
- Temsirolimus is a pregnancy Category D medication, which means it may harm an unborn child. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medication during pregnancy (see Torisel and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown whether temsirolimus passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Torisel and Breastfeeding).