Irinotecan lipid complex can cause a severe decrease in the number of white blood cells made by your bone marrow. A decrease in the number of white blood cells in your body may increase the risk that you will develop a serious infection. Your doctor will order laboratory tests regularly during your treatment to check the number of white blood cells in your blood. You may be at greater risk of experiencing this side effect if you are of Asian descent. If you experience any of the following symptoms of infection, call your doctor immediately: fever, chills, sore throat, ongoing cough and congestion, or other signs of infection.
Irinotecan lipid complex can cause severe and life threatening diarrhea that may lead to dehydration. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a bowel obstruction (blockage in your intestine). You may experience the following symptoms within 24 hours after receiving irinotecan lipid complex: diarrhea (sometimes called "early diarrhea"), runny nose, increased saliva, shrinking pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes), watery eyes, sweating, flushing, slowed heartbeat, or stomach cramps. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms. You may also experience severe diarrhea more than 24 hours after receiving irinotecan lipid complex (sometimes called "late diarrhea"). If you experience any of the following symptoms of late diarrhea, call your doctor immediately: diarrhea, vomiting that stops you from drinking anything, black or bloody stools, lightheadedness, dizziness, or faintness. Your doctor will probably tell you to take loperamide (Imodium AD) to treat symptoms of late diarrhea.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving irinotecan lipid complex.
Irinotecan lipid complex is used in combination with other medications to treat pancreatic cancer that has spread to other parts of the body that has worsened after treatment with other chemotherapy medications. Irinotecan lipid complex is in a class of antineoplastic medications called topoisomerase I inhibitors. It works by stopping the growth of cancer cells.
Irinotecan lipid complex comes as a liquid to be injected intravenously (into a vein) over 90 minutes by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility. It is usually given once every 2 weeks.
Your doctor may need to delay your treatment and adjust your dose if you experience certain side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment with irinotecan lipid complex.
Your doctor may give you medications to prevent nausea and vomiting before you receive each dose of irinotecan lipid complex. Your doctor may also give you or tell you to take other medication(s) to prevent or treat other side effects.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking irinotecan lipid complex,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Irinotecan lipid complex may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
Irinotecan lipid complex may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about irinotecan lipid complex.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.