This anticancer drug is used for the treatment of following conditions:

  • small cell lung cancer
  • advanced ovarian cancer
  • cervical cancer
  • primary peritoneal cancer
  • fallopian tube cancer

Drug class: Topoisomerase I inhibitor (Chemotherapy agent)

Route of administration: Oral, Intravenous

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Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

Topotecan binds to topoisomerase I (a DNA replication and RNA transcription enzyme) and works by blocking enzymatic activity, causing DNA damage and cell death.

Side effects

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, loss of hair, fatigue, weakness, trouble breathing, mouth sores, itching/rashes/hives.


Take the following precautions before using this drug and notify your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies,
  • If you are taking any other medications (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),
  • If you have a medical history of renal disease,
  • Limit alcohol consumption as it makes you more tired & drowsy, loss of alertness may occur.
  • Avoid contact with people who are having any communicable disease or to prevent the spread of infections.
  • Use of this medication is not recommended during pregnancy.
  • You should avoid breastfeeding while you are taking topotecan.
  • You should not become pregnant while taking this drug as it may cause birth defects. In case you get pregnant or think you may be pregnant, consult your doctor.

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