The combination of trifluridine (brand name- Viroptic) and tipiracil (brand name- Lonsurf) is an FDA-approved treatment for colon (large intestine), stomach, esophagus (the tube between the throat and stomach), or rectal cancer. It is used for cancer that has spread to other parts of the body in people who have already been treated with other chemotherapy medications or cannot receive these chemotherapy medications.
Trifluridine and Tipiracil are in a class of medications called nucleoside metabolic inhibitors and thymidine-based phosphorylase inhibitors respectively. This combination works by stopping the growth of cancer cells.
Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about this drug combination.
How should I take Trifluridine and Tipiracil?
The combination of trifluridine and tipiracil comes as a tablet to take by mouth usually twice a day with food. Take trifluridine and tipiracil at around the same time every day. Take trifluridine and tipiracil exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes.
Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them. Your doctor may stop the treatment if you are 65 years or older.
Trifluridine and tipiracil tablets come in two different strengths. Your doctor may want you to take a combination of both strengths of tablets to make up your full dose. Do not stop taking trifluridine and tipiracil without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
Wash your hands after handling trifluridine and tipiracil tablets. If someone else is handling your trifluridine and tipiracil tablets, they should wear rubber or latex gloves so that their skin does not come into contact with the tablets.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking trifluridine and tipiracil (Lonsurf)
- tell your doctor about your allergies
- tell your doctor about other intakes
- tell your doctor if you have or ever had any disease, symptom, or treatment
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or if you plan to father a child. You or your partner should not become pregnant during your treatment with trifluridine and tipiracil. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods you can use during treatment.
While you are on trifluridine and tipiracil (Lonsurf)
- if you or your partner become pregnant while you are receiving trifluridine and tipiracil, call your doctor immediately. Trifluridine and tipiracil may harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment and for one day after your last dose.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
I forgot a dose. What should I do?
If you miss a dose of trifluridine and tipiracil, do not take another dose to make up for the missed dose. Call your doctor for instructions about what to do for a missed dose.
What are the side effects of Trifluridine and Tipiracil?
Common side effects
Trifluridine and tipiracil may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking 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 or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
How should I safely store and dispose of Trifluridine and Tipiracil?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). If you have stored this medication outside the container it came in, dispose of all unused tablets after 30 days.
The best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of an emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Last Revised – 12/26/2023,, FDA-updated – 08/08/2023, SG
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