For the Treatment of Cancer
It is chemotherapy given for the treatment of
How It Is Given
It is given into a vein (IV) over 90 minutes.
Common Side Effects
▪ Diarrhea—may occur during the
Irinotecan infusion or days after the
treatment. It usually peaks 11 days after
▪ Abdominal cramping and pain
▪ Nausea, vomiting
▪ Reduced blood counts
▪ Hair loss occurs, but is not permanent
▪ Loss of appetite
▪ Feeling tired
Less Common Side Effects
▪ Muscle cramps
▪ Skin changes, rash
▪ Temporary effect on liver function
▪ Sore mouth and taste changes
Call Your Health Care Provider if You
▪ Diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days
even while taking medicine to treat
▪ Nausea and vomiting not controlled with
▪ Temperature over 100.8°F.
▪ Feeling dizzy or light headed.
▪ Dark colored urine – which may mean
you are dehydrated.
▪ Loperamide (Imodium A-D) is a non-
prescription anti-diarrhea medicine.
Take loperamide at the first sign of
diarrhea. After the first loose stool take
4mg (2 tablets). Take 2mg (1 tablet)
after each additional loose stool. (Call
your doctor if you are needing more than
8 tablets in a day).
▪ Drink plenty of fluids, (water or broth).
At least 8 – 12 glasses every 24 hours.
Avoid fruit juices and fresh fruits and
vegetables that may increase the
Reproduced with permission from the 1989-2011 United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 4/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5568