Colon Cancer Home > Camptosar Side Effects

Low white blood cell counts, anemia, and diarrhea were some of the most commonly reported reactions when Camptosar was given to people during clinical trials. Research also showed that most people will develop some type of side effect with Camptosar. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you develop serious complications, such as a sudden cough, persistent diarrhea, or vomiting blood.

An Introduction to Camptosar Side Effects

Just like any medicine, Camptosar® (irinotecan) can cause side effects. As with other chemotherapy medicines, the side effects can be significant. In fact, most people will experience some type of reaction during Camptosar treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to help manage any problems you develop.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Camptosar. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects With Camptosar

Camptosar has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in people receiving Camptosar in combination with other chemotherapy drugs were carefully documented. As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred and how often they appeared.
In these studies, the most common Camptosar side effects included:
Other common side effects, occurring in 5 percent to 55 percent of people, included:
  • Loss of appetite
  • Early diarrhea (occurring during or shortly after receiving a dose)
  • Fever
  • Constipation (see Constipation With Chemotherapy)
  • Mouth sores and swelling (see Mouth and Gum Problems During Chemotherapy)
  • Infection
  • Weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Rash
  • Insomnia
  • Skin reactions
  • Headache
  • Watery eyes or mouth
  • Sweating
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Dehydration
  • Back pain
  • Chills
  • Increase in certain liver enzymes
  • Drowsiness
  • Sudden warmth or redness of the face and neck
  • Gas
  • Blood clots
  • Redness, tenderness, or peeling of the hands or feet
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Swelling of the arms, hands, legs, ankles, or feet
  • Abdominal (stomach) swelling
  • Confusion
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Bleeding.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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