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Targeted Therapy

Brand names:


Often used for:

Renal cell carcinoma

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About Temsirolimus

Temsirolimus is a type of medicine called a targeted therapy. This medicine is an mTOR inhibitor. It acts to block certain cell signals to help keep cells from growing. It can also help block the growth of blood vessels that supply oxygen to tumors.

It is usually given once a week by IV infusion over 30-60 minutes. An antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) is often given before temsirolimus to prevent or minimize allergic reactions. Patients will have regular blood draws to check blood counts and monitor liver and kidney function.

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May be given as a liquid into a vein by IV

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Possible Side Effects

  • Low blood counts (may cause increased risk of infection, bleeding, anemia and/or fatigue)
  • Rash
  • Swelling of the arms and legs (edema)
  • Mouth sores
  • Increased blood cholesterol levels
  • Increased blood glucose levels
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Acne
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Change in nails
  • Allergic reactions (swelling of face, lips, or throat)
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems

Not all patients who take temsirolimus will experience these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Tips for Families

Be sure to discuss these and other recommendations with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • While taking this medicine, do not eat grapefruit or Seville (bitter) oranges or drink juice or beverages containing grapefruit or Seville orange.
  • While taking temsirolimus, it is important to drink plenty of fluids. Patients should follow the care team’s instructions for appropriate fluid intake.
  • Sexually active patients should take steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment and for 3 months after completion of therapy.
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Caregivers should follow instructions to avoid contact with patient body fluids which can contain the drug for several days after it is given.

Temsirolimus resources