What Temsirolimus is and what it is used for?
- Temsirolimus is a kinase inhibitor which inhibits the mTOR kinase. The mTOR kinase is responsible for cell growth and proliferation. By blocking this kinase, temsirolimus can slow the growth of cancer cells.
- Temsirolimus is used to treat kidney cancer. It also can used to treat mantle cell lymphoma, as determined by your doctor.
How Temsirolimus is given?
- It is given as an infusion into a vein over 1 hour or more.
What should I know while receiving Temsirolimus?
- Infusion reactions may happen during or shortly after the infusion, causing facial swelling, flushing, breathing difficulties, chest pain and a drop in blood pressure. Tell your nurse right away if you feel unwell during an infusion.
- Do not breastfeed and for 1 month after the last dose.
- Do not use temsirolimus when you are pregnant. Effective birth contraception should be used during treatment and for at least 3 months after the treatment ends.
- Do not receive any kind of vaccination without doctor's approval.
- Temsirolimus may affect fertility. You can talk to your doctor about methods of preserving fertility before treatment starts.
- You will be checked regularly by your doctor to make sure you have enough blood cells and have adequate organ functions to receive this medicine. The timing and dosing of your treatment may be changed based on the test results or other side effects.
- There are many drugs may affect how temsirolimus works. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
- The existing health problems may affect the use of temsirolimus. You should let your doctor know if you have any other medical problems, especially if you have high blood sugar, high cholesterol or triglycerides, liver, kidney, heart or lung problems.
Common side effects
- Low white blood cell count
You may have a higher risk of getting infections. Try to stay away from crowds and wash hands often. Tell your doctor right away if you have repeated fevers, coughing, stuffy nose, a painful urination or wound that becomes red and swollen.
- Low red blood cell count
You may look pale and get tired more easily. Let your doctor know if you experience any difficulty breathing or dizziness when changing positions.
- Low platelet count
You may have a higher risk of bleeding. Let your doctor know if you find red or purple dots on the skin, bleeding from the nose or gums, or any bruising or bleeding that you cannot explain.
- Mouth sore
Your doctor can give you medicines that help you ease the discomfort. Good mouth care will help prevent mouth sores.
- Nausea and vomiting
Medicines may be given before the treatment to prevent it happening. Eating and drinking often in small amounts may reduce the discomfort.
- Weakness and fatigue
Try to pace yourself and rest as much as possible. Seek medical advice if fatigue does not go away when you rest and sleep.
- Skin reactions
Symptoms include dryness, itching, and rash. Tell your doctor about any skin changes that you have. Your doctor can give you medicines and advices that help you feel better.
- Loss of appetite
Try to eat in small quantities and have frequent meals. If your appetite does not get any better after a few days, tell your doctor.
- Swelling in the hands or feet
Tell your doctor if your hands, arms, legs, or feet feel puffy or tender. The doctor may give medicines to reduce your symptoms and suggest ways to prevent fluid buildup.
- Elevated liver enzymes
This means your liver is not working well. Seek medical help right away if you have yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark or brown urine, or pain in abdomen, as these can be signs of liver toxicity.
- High blood sugar level
If you have diabetes, this drug may worse your condition. Your doctor will monitor your blood sugar and may prescribe medications if necessary.
- High cholesterol or triglycerides levels
If you have the metabolic syndrome, this drug may worse your condition. Your doctor will check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and may prescribe medications if necessary.
- Changes in kidney function
Temsirolimus may affect how your kidney works. Seek medical help at once if you have unable to pass urine, decreased urination, swelling in limbs, or pain in lower back.
Less common side effects
- Cough or trouble breathing
You may have sore throat or stuffy nose without any signs of infection. Talk to your doctor if this side effect bothers you.
- Diarrhea or constipation
Talk to your doctor and ask for advice. Drinking plenty of water and dietary changes can improve diarrhea.
- Taste alteration
Foods may taste differently or you may have a metallic taste in the mouth. Taste may return slowly after the treatment has ended.
- Muscle or joint pain
Talk to the doctor if the pain is bothering you, they can give you medicine to help ease pain.
- Difficulty sleeping
Talk to your doctor if this bothers you. Treatments usually include lifestyle changes, medications, or a combination of both.
- Nail changes
The color or shape of nails may change and the nails may also become brittle or crack. The nails usually grow back slowly once the treatment is over.
- Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking beverages containing grapefruit. This is because grapefruits can affect how temsirolimus works and can worsen the side effects.
- Avoid taking St. John's wort as it may make temsirolimus less effective.
- Alcohol and cigarettes may interfere with certain medicines or worsen side effects from chemotherapy treatment. It is wise to avoid alcohol and cigarettes during cancer treatment. If you have any problem about drinking alcohol and smoking, you should check with your doctor.