This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.

Background and Date of Approval

Topotecan consists of the active ingredient as Topotecan. It is indicated to treat cancer in the ovaries and lungs that recurred after finishing the chemotherapy treatment course. When surgery or radiotherapy does not work, this medicine is used to treat advanced cervical cancer along with another anticancer drug called cisplatin. It is not recommended for pediatric use. Patients should avoid consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking topotecan, as it can increase the amount of the drug in the body and potentially lead to side effects.

Topotecan was first approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 14, 1996, for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer that had recurred after treatment. Since then, the FDA has approved topotecan for the treatment of other types of cancer, including small cell lung and cervical cancers. The benefits of this medicine in treating cancer often outweigh the potential risks of side effects, and many patients have experienced successful outcomes with this treatment.

Mechanism of Action of undefined

Topotecan works by interfering with the normal function of DNA, which prevents cancer cells from dividing and growing. This helps to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells, which can lead to the regression of tumors and an improvement in cancer symptoms.

Uses of undefined

Topotecan is an important medication used in the treatment of various types of cancers, including ovarian, small-cell lung, and cervical cancers.

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Topotecan is typically administered by a healthcare provider as an intravenous (IV) infusion in a clinical setting. The dosage and frequency of infusions will vary depending on the patient's individual medical condition, age, weight, and other factors. You should not take a double dose to make up for the second dose.

Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined


Topotecan can cause bone marrow suppression, which may lead to a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in the blood. This can increase the risk of infection, anemia, and bleeding. Because of bone marrow suppression, patients receiving treatment may be at increased risk of infection. There is a small risk of developing secondary malignancies, including leukemia, after treatment with this medication.

Patients with pre-existing kidney impairment or elder patients may have a higher risk of developing serious side effects from this medication. This medication can also cause cardiac toxicity, including changes in heart rate and blood pressure. In rare cases, neurological toxicity, including peripheral neuropathy and cognitive impairment can occur after taking this medicine. It can also cause skin reactions, including rash and photosensitivity.


Patients with pre-existing cardiac conditions and renal problems should monitor kidney and heart function regularly before and while taking Topotecan. Patients should have their blood counts monitored regularly during treatment. Patients should avoid contact with people who have infections, practice good hygiene, and report any signs of infection to their healthcare provider. Tell your doctor immediately about any new or worsening neurological symptoms. Patients should avoid excessive sun exposure and use sunscreen during treatment.

Side Effects

Topotecan, like many chemotherapy drugs, can cause a range of side effects. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, hair loss, and decreased appetite. More serious side effects may include bone marrow suppression, gastrointestinal toxicity, lung toxicity, neurological toxicity, cardiac toxicity, allergic reactions, and liver toxicity. Patients should be vigilant for any new or worsening symptoms and report them to their healthcare provider immediately.

Word Of Advice

If you are receiving treatment with Topotecan, report any side effects or concerns promptly. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider. Reproductive-age women should use effective birth control during the treatment and for at least two weeks after their last dose. You should avoid consuming grapefruit while taking this medication, as it decreases the absorption of the drug in the body and causes severe side effects.

You should protect your skin from the sun while taking this medication. Making lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a healthy diet, can also help support your overall health and reduce the risk of complications associated with cancer. Additionally, seeking support from family members, friends, or support groups can provide patients with emotional support and help them cope with the challenges of cancer treatment.

Frequently Asked Question


  1. Accord Healthcare Limited, Electronic Medicines Compendium (EMC), [Revised on Feb 2021] [Accessed on 24th April 2023],
  2. Accord Ltd, US Food & Drug Administration, [Revised on Sep 2018] [Accessed on 24th April 2023],
  3. Edward Chu, Cancer Chemotherapy, Lange’s Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, 14th Edition, 2018, 948-976


The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice. It is meant for educational purposes only. For further details, consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you can receive this treatment.