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On June 17, 1996, injectable irinotecan hydrochloride was approved as a treatment for metastatic cancer of the colon or rectum; it is also used to treat some lymphomas. The drug is available under the generic name irinotecan and is also marketed under the trade name Camptosar. The drug is normally prescribed in colorectal cancer cases that haven't responded to standard treatment with the chemotherapy agent fluorouracil. The drug is can cause nausea, lowered white blood cell counts, decreased platelet counts (with an accompanying risk of bleeding), severe anemia, fatigue, and gastrointestinal upsets.

This drug is a chemical relative of camptothecin and topotecan and is a a topoisomerase I inhibitor. It is given intravenously over the course of a 90-minute period.

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