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Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.


(POR-fi-mer SO-dee-um)



This medication is used, in addition to laser light therapy, to treat certain types of cancer (e.g., esophageal or lung cancer). It works by making the cancer cells more sensitive to laser light therapy.

How To Use

This medication is given by vein (IV), approximately 2 days (40-50 hours) before laser light therapy, as directed by your doctor. Additional laser light treatments may be required as determined by your doctor. Follow all instructions for proper mixing with the correct IV fluids. If you have any questions regarding the use of this medication, consult your pharmacist. The dosage is based on your weight, medical condition, and response to therapy. When mixed with IV fluid, the liquid will be cloudy (opaque). Before using, check this product visually for unusual particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Use the drug immediately after preparation. Protect the drug from bright light by covering with foil or an opaque sleeve. Learn how to discard needles and medical supplies safely. Consult your pharmacist.

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, constipation, trouble sleeping, sunburn-like effect (sun sensitivity), dizziness, or eye discomfort (light sensitivity) may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: trouble breathing, fever, unusual tiredness and weakness, swelling, pain (especially throat, stomach/abdominal, or back pain), vision changes. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: trouble swallowing, coughing or vomiting blood, unusually fast or irregular heartbeat, weight loss, mental/mood changes. If you notice any other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: blood disorders (e.g., porphyria), throat problems (e.g., esophageal varices), alcohol use, recent radiation therapy, any allergies. This drug may make you dizzy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. This medication will make you more sensitive to the sun and to other bright light. Avoid exposure of your skin and eyes to bright light (e.g., sunlight, examination lamps, bright indoor light) for 30 days after treatment. Wear protective clothing and dark sunglasses when outdoors. Sunscreen will not protect your skin from this effect. Exposure to a small amount of indoor light may be helpful for the inactivation of the drug. Test your skin for sensitivity before exposure to bright light. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy; women should use a reliable form of birth control during treatment with the medicine. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known whether this drug is excreted into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use, especially: tetracycline antibiotics (e.g., tetracycline, doxycycline), sulfa drugs (e.g., sulfamethoxazole), certain oral anti-diabetic medicine (e.g., glipizide, glyburide), certain "water pills" (e.g., thiazide-types such as hydrochlorothiazide), psychiatric or anti-nausea phenothiazine drugs (e.g., chlorpromazine, prochlorperazine, promethazine), calcium channel blockers (e.g., diltiazem, verapamil), NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen), vitamin supplements/antioxidants (beta-carotene, vitamin E), antifungal drugs (e.g., griseofulvin), mannitol, allopurinol, corticosteroid drugs (e.g., prednisone). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. You will need to protect your eyes and skin from direct sunlight or bright indoor lights for 30 days.


Laboratory and/or medical tests may be performed to monitor for side effects and response to treatment.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, contact your doctor immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.


Store powder at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 to 25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. After mixing in correct IV fluids (consult your pharmacist for details), use immediately. Discard any unused portion of the vial.