Generic Name: Topotecan Capsules (toe poe TEE kan)
Brand Name: Hycamtin
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Nov 1, 2020.
- This medicine may lower the ability of your bone marrow to make blood cells that your body needs. This can lead to needing a blood transfusion and very bad and sometimes deadly bleeding problems or infections. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat; any bruising or bleeding; or if you feel very tired or weak.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
Uses of Hycamtin:
- It is used to treat cancer.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Hycamtin?
- If you have an allergy to topotecan or any other part of Hycamtin (topotecan capsules).
- If you are allergic to Hycamtin (topotecan capsules); any part of Hycamtin (topotecan capsules); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have any of these health problems: Low white blood cell count, low platelet count, or low red blood cell count.
- If you take any other drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins). There are many drugs that interact with Hycamtin (topotecan capsules).
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take Hycamtin (topotecan capsules) and for 1 week after your last dose.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Hycamtin (topotecan capsules).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Hycamtin (topotecan capsules) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Hycamtin?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Hycamtin (topotecan capsules). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Hycamtin (topotecan capsules) affects you.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- The oral form of Hycamtin (topotecan capsules) can cause very bad diarrhea. Sometimes, this may be life-threatening and may need to be treated in the hospital. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have diarrhea, talk with your doctor. Do not try to treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use of some vaccines with Hycamtin (topotecan capsules) may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
- If you are 65 or older, use Hycamtin (topotecan capsules) with care. You could have more side effects.
- This medicine may affect fertility. Fertility problems may lead to not being able to get pregnant or father a child.
- This medicine may cause harm to an unborn baby. A pregnancy test will be done before you start Hycamtin (topotecan capsules) to show that you are NOT pregnant.
- Women must use birth control while taking Hycamtin (topotecan capsules) and for some time after the last dose. Ask your doctor how long to use birth control. If you get pregnant, call your doctor right away.
- Men with a partner who may get pregnant must use birth control while taking Hycamtin (topotecan capsules) and for some time after the last dose. Ask your doctor how long to use birth control. If your partner gets pregnant, call the doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Hycamtin) best taken?
Use Hycamtin (topotecan capsules) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- You will need to take special care when handling Hycamtin (topotecan capsules). Check with the doctor or pharmacist to see how to handle Hycamtin (topotecan capsules).
- Take with or without food.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, open, or crush.
- The dose you get may be made up of 2 or more different strengths and colors of capsules.
- If you throw up after taking a dose, do not repeat the dose. Take your next dose at your normal time.
- If the capsule is opened or broken, do not touch the contents. If the contents are touched or they get in the eyes, wash hands or eyes right away.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up or coughing up blood; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; abnormal vaginal bleeding; bruises without a cause or that get bigger; or bleeding you cannot stop.
- Severe diarrhea or diarrhea with stomach cramps, upset stomach, throwing up, fever, or fluid loss.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Some people have had lung problems with Hycamtin (topotecan capsules). Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of lung problems like shortness of breath or other trouble breathing, cough that is new or worse, or fever.
- This medicine can cause a severe bowel problem (neutropenic enterocolitis). This problem can be deadly, sometimes as early as the first day signs happen. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain with or without a fever, tender stomach, or diarrhea.
What are some other side effects of Hycamtin?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Stomach pain.
- Hair loss.
- Not hungry.
- Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
- Constipation, diarrhea, throwing up, and upset stomach are common with Hycamtin (topotecan capsules). If these happen, talk with your doctor about ways to lower these side effects. Call your doctor right away if any of these effects bother you, do not go away, or get very bad.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Hycamtin?
- Store capsules in original container in a refrigerator.
- Do not freeze.
- Protect from light.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Hycamtin (topotecan capsules), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about Hycamtin (topotecan)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: miscellaneous antineoplastics
- Hycamtin oral/injection
- Hycamtin (Topotecan Injection)
- Hycamtin (Advanced Reading)
- Hycamtin Intravenous (Advanced Reading)