Lutetium Lu 177 dotatate (Lutathera®)

About This Drug

Lutetium Lu 177 dotatate is used to treat cancer. It is given in the vein (IV)

Possible Side Effects

  • Bone marrow depression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This may raise your risk of infection, make you tired and weak (fatigue), and raise your risk of bleeding.
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea and throwing up (vomiting)
  • Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
  • Pain in your abdomen
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea)
  • Changes in your liver function
  • Changes in your kidney function
  • Electrolyte changes
  • Blood sugar levels may change. If you have diabetes, changes may need to be made to your diabetes medication.

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 20% or greater of patients treated with lutetium Lu 177 dotatate. Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Risk from radiation exposure
  • Severe bone marrow depression
  • This drug may raise your risk of getting a second cancer, such as myelodysplastic syndromes and leukemia
  • Severe changes in your kidney function which can very rarely cause kidney failure
  • Severe changes in your liver function which can very rarely cause liver failure
  • While you are getting this drug in your vein (IV), you may have a release of tumor-related hormones. You may experience sudden skin flushing, diarrhea (loose bowel movements), difficulty breathing and have low blood pressure. This reaction usually happens within the first 24 hours of your infusion.

Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team.

Important Information

  • This drug may be present in the saliva, tears, sweat, urine, stool, vomit, semen, and vaginal secretions for up to 30 days after treatment. It is important that you follow good hygiene practices during treatment to minimize radiation exposure from your bodily fluids to others. Talk to your doctor and/or your nurse about the necessary precautions to take during this time.

Treating Side Effects

  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day.
  • Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • To decrease infection, wash your hands regularly.
  • Avoid close contact with people who have a cold, the flu, or other infections.
  • Take your temperature as your doctor or nurse tells you, and whenever you feel like you may have a fever.
  • To help decrease bleeding, use a soft toothbrush. Check with your nurse before using dental floss.
  • Be very careful when using knives or tools.
  • Use an electric shaver instead of a razor.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended).
  • If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • If you get diarrhea, eat low-fiber foods that are high in protein and calories and avoid foods that can irritate your digestive tracts or lead to cramping.
  • Ask your nurse or doctor about medicine that can lessen or stop your diarrhea.
  • To help with nausea and vomiting, eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals a day. Choose foods and drinks that are at room temperature. Ask your nurse or doctor about other helpful tips and medicine that is available to help or stop lessen these symptoms.
  • To help with decreased appetite, eat high caloric food such as pudding, ice cream, yogurt and milkshakes.
  • If you have diabetes, keep good control of your blood sugar level. Tell your nurse or your doctor if your glucose levels are higher or lower than normal.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of lutetium Lu 177 dotatate with food.
  • This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Skin flushing (skin feels warm and/or is red)
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) 4 times a day or loose bowel movements with lack of strength or a feeling of being dizzy
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking and/or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • Pain in your abdomen
  • Abnormal blood sugar
  • Nausea and throwing up
  • Unusual thirst, passing urine often, headache, sweating, shakiness, irritability, rapid and deep breathing
  • Decreased urine, or very dark urine
  • Signs of possible liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very tired and weak, unusual itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • If you think you may be pregnant or may have impregnated your partner

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Women of child bearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment and for 7 months after your cancer treatment. Men with female partners of child bearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment and for 4 months after your cancer treatment. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant or may have impregnated your partner
  • Breastfeeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, Women should not breast feed during treatment and for 2.5 months after treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breast feeding baby.
  • Fertility warning: In men and women both, this drug may affect your ability to have children in the future. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children.Ask for information on sperm or egg banking.

New February 2018

This information is intended to provide helpful health information to the general public and is not to be used in place of any medical, health, psychological, or any other kind of personal professional services. The information herein does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the medicines mentioned, nor is the information intended as medical advice for individual problems or for making an evaluation as to the risks and benefits of taking a particular medication. The dose, method of administration and contraindications for any administered medication should be confirmed before use. UPMC specifically disclaims all responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any medication mentioned herein.