Trifluridine and tipiracil (Oral)
Generic Name: tipiracil/trifluridine (trye-FLURE-i-deen, tye-PIR-a-sil)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 10, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Viral DNA Thymidylate Synthetase Inhibitor
Chemical Class: Pyrimidine Nucleoside Analog
Uses for trifluridine and tipiracil
Trifluridine and tipiracil combination is used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum that has spread to other parts of the body) in patients who have received other cancer medicines (eg, fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, irinotecan).
Trifluridine and tipiracil combination is also used to treat metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma (stomach cancer that has spread) that has been previously treated with at least 2 other cancer treatments (eg, fluoropyrimidine, irinotecan, HER2/neu-targeted therapy, platinum medicine, taxane medicine).
Trifluridine and tipiracil is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using trifluridine and tipiracil
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For trifluridine and tipiracil, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to trifluridine and tipiracil or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of trifluridine and tipiracil combination in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of trifluridine and tipiracil combination in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted effects (including blood problems), which may require caution in patients receiving trifluridine and tipiracil.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of trifluridine and tipiracil. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Kidney disease, severe—Use has not been studied in patients with this condition.
- Liver disease, moderate or severe—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
Proper use of trifluridine and tipiracil
Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before using trifluridine and tipiracil, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
Take trifluridine and tipiracil exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
Trifluridine and tipiracil should come with patient information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Take trifluridine and tipiracil with meals.
Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
Wear gloves when handling trifluridine and tipiracil. Wash your hands after handling the tablets.
The dose of trifluridine and tipiracil will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of trifluridine and tipiracil. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For metastatic colorectal cancer or gastric cancer:
- Adults—Dose is based on body size and must be determined by your doctor. At first, 35 milligrams (mg) per square meter [m(2)] of body size 2 times a day, taken on Days 1 to 5, and Days 8 to 12 of every 28-day cycle. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 80 mg 2 times a day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For metastatic colorectal cancer or gastric cancer:
If you miss a dose of trifluridine and tipiracil, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
If you store the tablets outside the original bottle, throw away any unused tablets after 30 days.
Precautions while using trifluridine and tipiracil
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that trifluridine and tipiracil is working properly. Blood tests will be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using trifluridine and tipiracil while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. It may also cause birth defects if the father is using it when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. Female patients should use an effective form of birth control during treatment with trifluridine and tipiracil and for at least 6 months after the last dose. Male patients who have female partners should use effective birth control during treatment with trifluridine and tipiracil and for at least 3 months after the last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while using trifluridine and tipiracil, tell your doctor right away.
Trifluridine and tipiracil can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
- If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
- Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
- Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
- Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
- Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
- Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.
Tell your doctor right away if you have severe or persistent diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting while using trifluridine and tipiracil.
Trifluridine and tipiracil side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- blood in the urine or stools
- lower back or side pain
- painful or difficult urination
- pale skin
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- sore throat
- troubled breathing with exertion
- ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Bladder pain
- bloody or cloudy urine
- frequent urge to urinate
- muscle aches
- stuffy or runny nose
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Change in taste
- decreased appetite
- hair loss or thinning of the hair
- lack or loss of strength
- loss of taste
- stomach pain
- swelling or inflammation of the mouth
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about tipiracil / trifluridine
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- Drug class: antineoplastic combinations
- Other brands
Related treatment guides
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.