Hycamtin Side Effects
As with other chemotherapy medications, Hycamtin often causes very serious or intolerable side effects. In fact, many of these problems can interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment, as side effects can cause people to not receive their medication on schedule. Potential side effects of Hycamtin include vomiting, hair loss, and fever or other signs of an infection.
An Introduction to Hycamtin Side EffectsAs with any medicine, Hycamtin® (topotecan) can cause side effects. However, unlike most types of medications, chemotherapy drugs (including Hycamtin) often cause very serious or intolerable side effects. In fact, the side effects of chemotherapy often limit the effectiveness of the drugs (as side effects often interfere with receiving chemotherapy "on schedule").
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Hycamtin. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
Common Side Effects of HycamtinHycamtin has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the possible side effects were carefully documented.
Some of the more common side effects of Hycamtin included:
- Anemia -- in up to 98 percent of people (see Chemotherapy and Anemia)
- Low levels of the neutrophil type of white blood cells (neutropenia) -- up to 97 percent (see Chemotherapy and Infections)
- Low white blood cells (leukopenia) -- up to 97 percent
- Low blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) -- up to 81 percent (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy)
- Nausea -- up to 64 percent (see Chemotherapy and Nausea)
- Hair loss -- up to 49 percent (see Chemotherapy and Hair Loss)
- Vomiting -- up to 45 percent
- Fever or other signs of an infection -- up to 47 percent
- Diarrhea -- up to 32 percent (see Chemotherapy-Induced Diarrhea).
Other common side effects (occurring in 15 to 29 percent of people) included:
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
- General weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Mouth sores
It should be noted that, as with most chemotherapy medications, many of the common side effects are also serious side effects.