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Torisel

Generic Name: temsirolimus (TEM sir OH li mus)
Brand Names: Torisel

What is Torisel?

Torisel (temsirolimus) is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Torisel is used to treat cancer of the kidneys, also called renal cell carcinoma.

Torisel may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not use Torisel if you are allergic to temsirolimus or if you have severe liver disease. Do not use Torisel if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication and for at least 3 months after your treatment ends.

Before you receive Torisel, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, an allergy to sirolimus (Rapamune), or a history of head injury, stroke, or brain tumor.

Torisel can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Do not receive a live vaccine. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

There are many other drugs that can interact with Torisel. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

There are many other drugs that can interact with Torisel. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Torisel if you are allergic to temsirolimus, or if you have:

  • severe liver disease.

To make sure Torisel is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • high cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);

  • diabetes;

  • a head injury, stroke, or brain tumor; or

  • an allergy to sirolimus (Rapamune).

Torisel can harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine, whether you are a man or a woman. Torisel use by either parent may cause birth defects.

Keep using birth control for at least 3 months after your last dose of Torisel. Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using temsirolimus.

It is not known whether temsirolimus passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How is Torisel given?

Torisel is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The injection must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 60 minutes to complete.

Torisel 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 this medicine.

Torisel 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 Torisel.

Torisel 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

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor if you miss an appointment for your Torisel 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 Torisel?

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using Torisel, 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.

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 Torisel.

This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). 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. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's 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.

Torisel side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Torisel: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some side effects may occur during the injection. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, warm, tingly, light-headed, or short of breath.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough, trouble breathing;

  • stomach pain, 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;

  • any wound that will not heal;

  • 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 - leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling.

Side effects such as diarrhea, swelling, and breathing problems may be more likely in older adults.

Common Torisel side effects may include:

  • rash;

  • nausea, loss of appetite;

  • swelling;

  • mouth sores or ulcers;

  • 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)

What other drugs will affect Torisel?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Many drugs can interact with temsirolimus. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • an antibiotic or antifungal medicine;

  • an antidepressant;

  • antiviral medicine to treat hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS;

  • a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • insulin or oral diabetes medicine;

  • heart or blood pressure medicine, especially an ACE inhibitor or calcium channel blocker (such as amlodipine, benazepril, diltiazem, ramipril, verapamil, and many others);

  • seizure medicine; or

  • St. John's Wort.

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.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Torisel.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Torisel only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2017 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01.

Date modified: August 10, 2017
Last reviewed: July 11, 2017

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