Temsirolimus (Intravenous)

Temsirolimus is an intravenous drug often used therapeutically with other treatments to treat cancer.

Overview

In cases of kidney cancer, Temsirolimus, commonly branded and sold as Torisel, is used to combat the growth and spread of cancer cells. Growth of carcinoma in renal cells can slowed or halted by the use of Temsirolimus, which interferes with the growth hormones and allows the tumor to be destroyed naturally by the body.

Temsirolimus is given intravenously, in a solution form that is injected into a vein. It is often given under doctor supervision, and dosage is determined from patient to patient. It is not manufactured generically, and primarily used to treat kidney cancer. It can be used in other fashions, but only specifically with doctor recommendation.

Temsirolimus may cause side effects, and should be administered and used responsibly to avoid serious discomfort. If persistent or painful side effects occur, contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately. Interactions may occur while using Temsirolimus in tandem with other medications. List any and all in-use drugs beforehand, and inform your doctor before taking anything during the course of your treatment.

Do not use Temsirolimus if you have experienced allergic reactions to any of the active or inactive ingredients in the drug. Temsirolimus should only be used with a doctor's recommendation and approval, and under/overdosing may result in complications or negative results.

To reduce side effects or discomfort while using Temsirolimus, practice a strict regimen of self care. Stay hydrated and drink water often, eat often and nutritiously, avoid exposure to strong sun, and keep track of any and all side effects you experience during treatment. Stay in contact with your doctor, schedule frequent check-ups, and contact medical authorities if you believe you are experiencing serious side effects.

Temsirolimus is a targeted therapy designed to slow and eliminate the spread of cancer before it becomes life threatening. Despite the risks and possible side effects, the benfits of treatment far outweigh those of an untreated lifestyle. Talk to your doctor if you think Temsirolimus may help you.

Condition(s) treated?

  • Cancer of the kidneys

Type of medicine?

  • Intravenous MTOR inhibitor

Side Effects

You may experience side effects while taking Temsirolimus. Over 30% of patients being treated with Temsirolimus experience mild to moderate side effects, and these are often harmless. They may disappear or lessen the longer you take Temsirolimus, as your body might require a few treatments to get used to the drug. If your experiences get more intense or start to affect your day to day life, talk to your doctor about additional non-interactive medications/treatments.

Here is a list of common side effects, which can range from mild to moderate severity. If your side effect is severe/not present on this list, talk to your doctor.

  • Rash
  • Poor appetite
  • Swelling
  • Low blood cell count
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Mouth sore
  • Increased blood glucose, blood cholesterol, and blood creatine levels
  • Decreased blood phosphate levels
  • Increased liver enzymes

Get checked often to make sure none of these side effects are negatively impacting your health. If your side effects become severe or persistent, contact your doctor for additional prescriptions or advice.

Certain side effects are more severe, and may require medical attention. They are not medical emergencies,but you should not ignore them. If you experience any of the side effects listed below, contact our doctor as soon as possible.

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Severe, persistent nausea and/or vomiting
  • Blood in the urine or stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation that is unaffected by laxatives
  • Unusual bleeding/bruising
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Signs of infection (redness/swelling/sore throat/coughing up mucus)

Some side effects may be a sign that something is wrong, if you experience severe pain or certain side effects, contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately. Do not wait until your next check-up. If you believe your life is in danger, contact medical authorities for help first.

A high fever and chills is a sign that the body may be experiencing a serious infection. Contact medical authorities and check yourself into the hospital if this occurs. While many people react little/not at all to their Temsirolimus treatment, the medication affects people in different ways. Do not ignore symptoms of a larger problem, and keep an eye on your experiences while taking Temsirolimus.

Dosage

Dosage for Temsirolimus should be determined by a medical professional on a case to case basis. Some patients may require more or less depending on their condition, the severity of the cancer, and their reaction to the first dose.

Underdosing may result in unsatisfactory treatment, where overdosing can cause organ failure, complications, or death. Dosing for a strong drug such as Temsirolimus should be taken seriously, and patients should only be given one dose per week to avoid any internal buildup of the drug. Temsirolimus should be given under doctor supervision so they can monitor possible reactions and prevent improper administration.

If you are concerned that the drug is not working, talk to your doctor so they can run the proper tests. If you miss a dose, reschedule your appointment as soon as possible. Doses should not be skipped, and an unreliable schedule may reduce the effectiveness of the drug.

The regular, un-adjusted dose for Temsirolimus is 25mg, administered slowly over a 20-30 minute period. Giving the drug too fast may cause complications, and the drug should only be given intravenously through an IV. Temsirolimus is only availabe in solution form, and it is only manufactured under the brand name Torisel.

Temsirolimus is used primarily in the treatment of renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer), although the drug may be recommended for other uses by your doctor. Dosage may vary depending on what your doctor is prescribing the drug for, so whatever information you find on the internet may be unreliable or generalized.

Talk to your doctor before using Temsirolimus, and only accept treatment by trained medical professionals. If used incorrectly, this drug may cause serious health risks and side effects. If you are worried about your treatment plan, have questions about how this drug will affect you, or want more information on the medication, talk to your doctor.

Interactions

Temsirolimus is a heavy medication that may interact with other drugs in your system. To avoid interactions, talk to your doctor to make sure that none of your current medications will affect your Temsirolimus treatment. This includes over the counter drugs, herbal remedies, and other prescription medications that your doctor may not already know about. Be honest with your doctor, and nothing is too insignificant to mention.

There are two major food interactions to Temsirolimus, and they should both be avoided during treatment. If you accidentally consume either of them, talk to your doctor and avoid doing it again.

Grapefruits, grapefruit juice, or any other forms of grapefruit may negatively affect your Temsirolimus treatment. The chemicals in grapefruit may increase the amount of Temsirolimus in your body, creating side effects or increasing the likelihood of experiencing them.

Temsirolimus interaction with alcohol may cause stomach issues. If you drink often, stop drinking during your treatment, and mention this to your doctor. You may need monitoring for signs of bleeding.

Your treatment may make you more likely to become sick. Avoid sick individuals, people with live vaccinations, and close contact with people you don't know to be healthy. Wash your hands often, avoid crowds, and wipe down household surfaces to avoid accidental infection. If you are concerned that you might b falling ill, talk to your doctor to check for opportunistic infections.

There are a number of drugs or items that may interact with Temsirolimus, many of which are not listed here. Bring a detailed list of any and all medications to your doctor, and speak to them before you begin taking any new medications. Even over the counter drugs like aspirin can cause complications, so act responsibly and stay in contact with your doctor.

Warnings

There are some precautions you should be informed of before you begin your Temsirolimus treatment. Temsirolimus affects every person differently, but some groups may be more at risk than others.

If you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are capable of becoming pregnant, inform your doctor before the start of your treatment. Temsirolimus is a category D pregnancy drug. It may cause harm to the fetus or unborn child, which can result in birth defects or miscarriage.

Contraception is recommended, and additional protection is advised on top of any hormonal contraception. If you become pregnant while taking Temsirolimus, speak to your doctor immediately and stop your treatment. Men using Temsirolimus should also avoid impregnating their partners, as complications can occur in the resulting pregnancy. Breastfeeding mothers should also stop nursing during their Temsirolimus treatment. This drug may pass into breast milk, which could harm the child.

If you have liver problems, your body may not clear Temsirolimus from your system well. This can result in a buildup of the drug in your body, which may cause increased side effects or complications. Talk to your doctor about lowering your dose if this becomes an issue.

Diabetics should beware while using Temsirolimus. This drug can increase the amount of sugar in the blood, which can cause serious issues for users with diabetes, who are at risk for diabetes, or have a history of diabetes in their family. If you have any existing blood issues, talk to your doctor and run frequent tests to make sure they are not worsening during your treatment.

Temsirolimus increases your likelihood of infection and illness by lowering your body's white blood cell count and immunity. Do not have frequent or porlonged contact with sick people, or people that have recently had immunizations against assorted diseases including measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and all forms of influenza.

Talk to your doctor thoroughly before the beginning of your treatment, as not all precautions are listed here. You could be at risk in other ways, and you should only take Temsirolimus if your doctor has signed you off and recommended you for treatment.

Storage

This medication should only be given under the supervision of a doctor, nurse, or other trained professional in a controlled environment (ie. hospital or cancer treatment center). You should not attempt to give this drug to yourself or others, and you should not skip treatments.

Temsirolimus is only manufactured in a solution form, which is then diluted and given intravenously. It should be refrigerated in a dark area during storage, and should be used within six hours of being taken from the cooling area. This drug should not be given all at once, as it may cause serious complications, adverse reactions, or other effects.

Infusion pumps should be used during administration, and the final product should be given within 6 hours after dilution. Temsirolimus should be diluted within a sodium chloride mixture and given via IV over a 20-60 minute period. It should not be administered more than once a week.

The drug should not be added directly to infusion solutions; Temsirolimus should always be diluted first. The solution should contain no particulates, and should not be discolored. If there are any doubts or questions, the manufacturers information should be checked first.

This drug should not come into contact with light or any chemicals that may change its pH. Only handle this drug as directed, and do not dispose of it irresponsibly. Disposal protocol should follow the directions for all cytotoxic agents. Monitoring of the patient is recommended during and shortly after the treatment is administered. Patients should not drive or walk by themselves, and should be taken home by a caretaker, nurse, or family member.

Summary

Temsirolimus is a drug that has been used and proven to assist in slowing and eliminating cancer cells and tumors. It can be given as a primary treatment, and can also be used in tandem with other cancer medications for the most aggressive treatment possible. The drug, which as been in use since its approval in 2007, has been a reliable cancer treatment for those with renal cell carcinoma.

This drug can be given to adults of any race or gender, and while it has risks, they can vary from person to person. While discomfort or moderate side effects may occur, they are often less dangerous than opting for non-treatment or natural/spiritual forms of medication.

Temsirolimus should only be given with a doctor's explicit recommendation, and administered by a trained medical professional. Patients should be monitored closely to make sure they do not experience allergic reactions, complication during administration, or other complications. You may experience discomfort or side effects that lessen the more times you take the drug, so do not judge the entire treatment on the first dose.

It is impossible for you to know whether or not Temsirolimus is working for you, so you should undergo frequent tests to make sure that the cancer is being treated properly. Your doctor can provide these tests. You may also require testing for other issues, such as high blood sugar and possible infections.

Avoid grapefruit juice and alcohol during your Temsirolimus treatment. These can adversely affect your treatment or worsen side effects. Allow someone to take you home after each weekly dose, as you may become dizzy, nauseated, or fatigued in the hours following your treatment. Do not operate machinery in the following days until you are sure how the medication affects you.

Some people may react different to Temsirolimus than others. It is impossible to predict exactly how you might respond to the treatments, so always have them administered in a controlled environment by a nurse or doctor with medical training. Speak to your doctor before using Temsirolimus.

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Last Reviewed:
December 24, 2017
Last Updated:
April 05, 2018
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