Treosulfan capsules

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Treosulfan will be prescribed for you by a specialist doctor.

Swallow the capsules whole and drink plenty of water.

Please keep your regular appointments with your doctor or hospital. You will need to have frequent blood tests.

If you think you are getting an infection or if you have a high temperature, please see your doctor straightaway.

Type of medicineAn alkylating chemotherapy medicine
Used forCancer of the ovaries
Available asCapsules and injection

Treosulfan is used to treat ovarian cancer in women. In cancer, certain cells in your body grow and multiply too fast. Chemotherapy medicines like treosulfan work by preventing cells from multiplying. This reduces the number of cancer cells made.

Treosulfan may be given alongside other medicines or treatments to help treat your condition.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking treosulfan it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you have an infection or feel unwell.
  • If you have a rare inherited blood condition called porphyria.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • Before you start this treatment, read any printed information you have been given by your doctor and the printed manufacturer's leaflet from inside the pack of capsules. These will give you more information about treosulfan and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Treosulfan will be prescribed for you by a specialist doctor who is experienced in treating your condition. It is taken in cycles. This means that you will take the capsules every day for a number of weeks and then have a number of weeks without them. This cycle is then repeated. Your doctor will calculate what dose is right for you and will tell you how many capsules to take each day and on which days to take them. It is important that you take treosulfan exactly as you are told to by your doctor. If you are unsure about which days to take the capsules, or if you have any other concerns, you should contact your doctor or hospital clinic for advice.
  • Swallow treosulfan capsules whole with a drink of water. Do not chew or crush the capsules before you swallow, as this may cause ulcers to develop in your mouth.
  • If you are sick shortly after taking a dose, or if you forget to take a dose at the correct time, contact your doctor or clinic for advice on what to do.
  • While you are taking treosulfan, it is important that you drink plenty of fluid and that you pass urine frequently. Drinking lots of water and other fluids will help prevent a serious type of cystitis sometimes caused by this medicine.
  • You must try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor or hospital. This is so your doctor can check on your progress. You will need to have regular blood tests and check-ups during your treatment with treosulfan.
  • While you are taking treosulfan and for six months after you have stopped the treatment, do not have any immunisations (vaccinations) without talking to your specialist doctor first. Treosulfan lowers your body's resistance and there is a risk that you will get an infection from some vaccines.
  • It is important that you do not get pregnant while you are taking treosulfan. If appropriate, please discuss with your doctor which types of contraception are suitable for you and your partner.

Medicines used to treat cancer can have a number of side-effects, some of which can be delayed for several days or weeks after taking the medicine. Most chemotherapy medicines can lower the number of white cells in your blood, which increases the risk of you getting an infection. While you are taking treosulfan you should take precautions to reduce the risk of getting an infection - you can do this by avoiding being with people who you know have an infection. If you think you are getting a sore throat or if you have a high temperature, please let your doctor know as soon as possible so that you can get some treatment straightaway.

Your doctor will discuss with you the possibility of unwanted side-effects from your treatment, although not everyone experiences these. The table below contains some of the side-effects associated with treosulfan. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. Please let your doctor know if you experience any of the following:

Very common treosulfan side-effects (these affect more than 1 in 10 women)
What can I do if I experience this?
A high temperature, or symptoms of an infectionLet your doctor know about this straightaway
Feeling or being sickStick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy food. If this becomes troublesome, let your doctor know, as you can be prescribed an anti-sickness medicine
Some loss of hair; a bronze skin colourationDiscuss these with your doctor if you are concerned
Rare treosulfan side-effects
What can I do if I experience this?
A burning feeling as you pass urine, blood in your urineContinue to drink plenty of water and try to pass urine frequently. If you notice blood in your urine, please let your doctor know straightaway
Feeling short of breathLet your doctor know about this straightaway. It could be a sign of a rare but serious lung condition

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the capsules, please speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

If you buy any medicines, always check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take with your prescribed medicines.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • British National Formulary; 69th Edition (Mar 2015) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Helen Huins
Document ID:
3617 (v24)
Last Checked:
Next Review:
The Information Standard - certified member

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