Generic Name: temsirolimus (TEM sir OH li mus)
Brand Name: Torisel
What is temsirolimus?
Temsirolimus is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Temsirolimus is used to treat cancer of the kidneys, also called renal cell carcinoma.
Temsirolimus may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about temsirolimus?
You should not use temsirolimus if you have severe liver disease.
What should I discuss with my doctor before receiving temsirolimus?
You should not use temsirolimus if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
severe liver disease.
To make sure temsirolimus is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
high cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);
a history of head injury, stroke, or brain tumor; or
if you are allergic to sirolimus (Rapamune).
FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use temsirolimus if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control while you are using this medicine and for at least 3 months after your treatment ends.
If a man fathers a child while using this medication, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using condoms for at least 3 months after you stop using temsirolimus.
Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving temsirolimus, whether you are a man or a woman. Temsirolimus use by either parent may cause birth defects.
It is not known whether temsirolimus passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using temsirolimus.
How is temsirolimus given?
Temsirolimus is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Temsirolimus must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 60 minutes to complete.
Temsirolimus is usually given once each week unless your cancer progresses or you have serious side effects from this medicine.
You may be given medication to prevent certain side effects while you are receiving temsirolimus.
Temsirolimus can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your kidney function may also need to be tested. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using temsirolimus.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor if you miss an appointment for your temsirolimus injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while receiving temsirolimus?
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with temsirolimus and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products while taking temsirolimus.
This medicine can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Patients and caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids.
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using temsirolimus, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.
Temsirolimus side effects
Some side effects may occur during the injection. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, warm, tingly, light-headed, short of breath, or have chest pain or trouble breathing.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough, feeling short of breath;
bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
pale skin, feeling light-headed, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
signs of infection--fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;
signs of a kidney problem--little or no urinating; painful or difficult urination; swelling in your feet or ankles;
high blood sugar--increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss; or
low potassium--confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling.
Side effects such as diarrhea, swelling, and breathing problems may be more likely in older adults.
Common side effects may include:
mild itching or rash;
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
swelling, rapid weight gain;
mouth sores or ulcers, decreased sense of taste;
headache, joint pain;
cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, cough;
fever, weakness, flu symptoms; or
abnormal liver or kidney function tests.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Temsirolimus dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Renal Cell Carcinoma:
25 mg IV infusion over a 30 to 60 minute period once a week
Duration of therapy: Treat until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity
Comments: IV diphenhydramine 25 to 50 mg (or similar antihistamine) should be given approximately 30 minutes before the start of each dose
Use: Advanced renal cell carcinoma
What other drugs will affect temsirolimus?
Many drugs can interact with temsirolimus. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with temsirolimus, especially:
St. John's Wort;
a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven);
an antibiotic--clarithromycin, erythromycin, rifampicin, rifabutin;
antifungal medicine--itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole;
an antidepressant--citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine (Prozac), nefazodone, paroxetine, sertraline;
the hepatitis C medications boceprevir or telaprevir;
HIV or AIDS medications--atazanavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, tenofovir, and others; or
seizure medicine--carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin.
This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with temsirolimus. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.
More about temsirolimus
- Other brands: Torisel
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about temsirolimus.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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