Irinotecan is a chemotherapy drug that can be administered through an injection or port, which puts the drugs directly into a large vein in the chest.
Irinotecan blocks an enzyme in cells called topoisomerase I. Cells need this enzyme to divide and grow. When the enzyme is blocked by irinotecan, the cell’s DNA gets tangled up and the cell can’t divide. Since cancer cells divide faster than normal cells, they are more likely than normal cells to be affected by irinotecan.
Common Side Effects
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of appetite, nausea and/or vomiting
- Risk of infection
- Mouth sores and ulcers
- Hair thinning or loss