Temsirolimus (Injection)

Introduction

Temsirolimus

Treats late-stage kidney cancer.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Torisel

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to temsirolimus, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
  • You will receive a medicine to prevent allergic reactions (such as diphenhydramine, Benadryl®) before you receive this medicine.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using St. John's Wort, a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®), medicine to treat a fungus infection (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole, Nizoral®, Sporanox®, or Vfend®), medicine to treat depression (such as nefazodone, Serzone®), or medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as atazanavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Crixivan®, Fortovase®, Invirase®, Norvir®, Reyataz®, or Viracept®). Tell your doctor if you are using a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone, Decadron®, Hexadrol®), medicine to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Carbatrol®, Dilantin®, Tegretol®), or medicine to treat an infection (such as clarithromycin, telithromycin, rifabutin, rifampicin, rifampin, Biaxin®, Ketek®, Mycobutin®, Rifadin®, or Rimactane®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using other medicines to treat kidney cancer (such as sunitinib, Sutent®).
  • Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving this medicine. Vaccines may not work as well, or they could make you ill while you are using this medicine.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • This medicine can cause birth defects if it is used by the mother while she is pregnant or by the father when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. If a pregnancy occurs while you are using this medicine, tell your doctor right away. Use an effective form of birth control while being treated with this medicine and for at least 3 months after stopping treatment.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have bowel problems, a brain tumor, diabetes, high cholesterol or fats in the blood, any type of infection, kidney disease, or lung disease.
  • This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; swelling of the face, tongue, and throat; trouble breathing; or chest pain after you receive the injection.
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may get infections more easily. To help with this problem, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. If you think you are getting a cold or other infection, check with your doctor.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or medical tests.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate, or painful urination.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches.
  • Headache or dizziness.
  • Increased hunger or thirst.
  • Nosebleed.
  • Pain in your lower leg (calf).
  • Severe stomach pain, vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds, or red or black stools.
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Tearing, or red, itchy, painful, or irritated eyes.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Back, muscle, or joint pain.
  • Change in taste.
  • Depression or trouble sleeping.
  • Diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, or mild stomach pain.
  • Dry skin, pimples, skin rash or itching, or nail changes.
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss.
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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