Trifluridine and Tipiracil


The combination of trifluridine and tipiracil is used to treat colon (large intestine) or rectal 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. The combination of trifluridine and tipiracil is also used to treat certain types of stomach cancer or cancer located in the area where the stomach meets the esophagus (the tube between the throat and stomach) that has spread to other parts of the body in people who have already received at least two other chemotherapy treatments. Trifluridine is in a class of medications called thymidine-based nucleoside analogues. It works by stopping the growth of cancer cells. Tipiracil is in a class of medications called thymidine phosphorylase inhibitors. It works by slowing the breakdown of trifluridine by the body.

Side Effects Of Trifluridine and Tipiracil

Trifluridine and tipiracil may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • hair loss
  • change in the way things taste
  • loss of appetite
  • mouth sores or swelling inside the mouth
  • lack of energy
  • excessive tiredness

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • fever, body aches, chills, or other signs of infection
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain that is severe or does not go away
  • weakness or shortness of breath when exercising
  • pale skin
  • chest pain
  • pain with deep breathing
  • coughing up blood
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Trifluridine and tipiracil may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Warnings & Precautions

Before taking trifluridine and tipiracil:

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to trifluridine and tipiracil, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in trifluridine and tipiracil tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
  • tell your doctor if you are 65 years of age or older, or have or have ever had liver or kidney disease.
  • 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. If you are female, you will need to have a pregnancy test before you start treatment, and you should use birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment and for 6 months after your final dose. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that you can use during your treatment. If you are a man and your partner can become pregnant, you should use a condom while taking this medication, and for 3 months after your treatment. 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. Your doctor will probably tell you not to breastfeed during your treatment and for 1 day after your last dose.

Dosage Of Trifluridine and Tipiracil

The combination of trifluridine and tipiracil comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day with food for 5 days in a row, followed by a 2-day break. This dosing schedule is repeated and then followed by a 2-week break. This 28-day cycle may be repeated depending on how well this medication works for you and the side effects you experience. Take trifluridine and tipiracil at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take trifluridine and tipiracil exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.

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. Be sure that you know what each type of tablet looks like and how many you are to take of each. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Your doctor may delay your treatment or decrease your dose of trifluridine and tipiracil depending on the side effects that you experience. Be sure to talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment. Do not stop taking trifluridine and tipiracil without talking to your doctor.

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.

Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.


Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests before and during your treatment to check your body’s response to trifluridine and tipiracil.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.