Temsirolimus is used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC, a type of cancer that begins in the kidney). Temsirolimus is in a class of medications called kinase inhibitors. It works by blocking the action of the abnormal protein that tells the cancer cells to multiply. This may help slow the growth of tumors.
Temsirolimus comes as a solution (liquid) to be given by infusion (slow injection into a vein) over 30 to 60 minutes. It is usually given by a doctor or nurse in a doctor's office or infusion center. Temsirolimus is usually given once every week.
You may experience symptoms such as hives, rash, itching, difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling of the face, flushing, or chest pain. Tell your doctor or other healthcare provider if you experience these symptoms while you are receiving temsirolimus. Your doctor may prescribe other medications to help prevent or relieve these symptoms. Your doctor will probably give you these medications before you receive each dose of temsirolimus.
Before taking temsirolimus, tell your doctor if you are allergic to temsirolimus, sirolimus, antihistamines, any other medications, polysorbate 80, or any of the ingredients in the temsirolimus solution. Ask your doctor for a list of the ingredients.tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); certain antifungal medications such as itraconazole (Sporanox); ketoconazole (Nizoral); and voriconazole (Vfen); clarithromycin (Biaxin); dexamethasone (Decadron); certain medications used to treat HIV/AIDS such as atazanavir (Reyataz), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), nevirapine (Viramune), ritonavir (Norvir), and saquinavir (Invirase); certain medications for seizures such as carbamazepine (Equetro, Tegretol), phenobarbital (Luminal),and phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); medications to lower cholesterol and lipids; nefazodone; rifabutin (Mycobutin); rifampin (Rifadin, Rifamate, Rifiter); selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors such as citalopram (Celexa), duloxetine (Cymbalta), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft); sirolimus (Rapamune, Rapamycin); sunitinib (Sutent); and telithromycin (Ketek). Many other medications may also interact with temsirolimus, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list. Also be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist if you stop taking one of the medications listed above while you are receiving treatment with temsirolimus.tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John's Wort.tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes, high cholesterol or triglycerides, a tumor in the central nervous system (brain or spinal cord), cancer, or kidney, liver, or lung disease.tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or if you plan to father a child. You or your partner should not become pregnant while you are receiving temsirolimus and for 3 months after treatment with temsirolimus has ended. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. If you or your partner become pregnant while taking temsirolimus, call your doctor immediately. Temsirolimus may harm the fetus.tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You should not breastfeed while receiving temsirolimus.if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are receiving temsirolimus.you should know that you may be more at risk of getting an infection while you are receiving temsirolimus. Be sure to wash your hands frequently and avoid contact with people who are sick.do not have any vaccinations (e.g., measles, chicken pox, or flu shots) without talking to your doctor.
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this medication.
If you miss an appointment to receive a dose of temsirolimus, call your doctor right away.
Temsirolimus may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: weaknessswelling of the eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legsheadacheitchy, watery, or red eye(s)change in the way things tasteswelling, redness, pain, or sores inside the mouth or throatloss of appetiteweight lossnauseavomitingconstipationfrequent need to urinatepain or burning during urinationblood in the urineback painmuscle or joint painbloody nosechanges in fingernails or toenailsdry skinpale skinexcessive tirednessfast heart beatacnedifficulty falling asleep or staying asleepdepression
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately: hivesrashitchingdifficulty breathing or swallowingflushingchest painshortness of breathfast breathing or pantingleg pain, swelling, tenderness, redness, or warmthextreme thirstextreme hungerfever, sore throat, chills, cough, and other signs of infectionfaintingnew or worsening abdominal paindiarrheared blood in stoolsdecrease in amount of urineblurred visionslow or difficult speechconfusiondizziness or faintnessweakness or numbness of an arm or leg
Temsirolimus may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
This medication will be stored at your doctor's office or clinic.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include: seizurehallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)difficulty thinking clearly, understanding reality, or using good judgmentcoughshortness of breathfevernew or worsening abdominal painpanting or fast breathingred blood in stoolsdiarrhealeg pain, swelling, tenderness, redness, or warmth
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to temsirolimus.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about your treatment with temsirolimus.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Last Reviewed: September 1, 2010.