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Dactinomycin injection
DACTINOMYCIN - INJECTION

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.

DACTINOMYCIN - INJECTION

(dack-tin-oh-MY-sin)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Cosmegen

WARNING: If this medication accidentally leaks into surrounding tissue, the skin and/or muscle may be severely damaged. Notify your doctor immediately if you feel pain at the injection site.

Uses

Dactinomycin is one of a large group of drugs known as "antineoplastics"; these drugs are also known as cancer drugs, chemotherapy, or "chemo". They are used in the treatment of various cancers to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. A combination of different types of cancer drugs will often be used to achieve better results and minimize side effects.

How To Use

This is a potent medication. Use it exactly as prescribed. Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you experience pain, burning or redness at the place where injected.

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, acne, skin rash, darkening or reddening of skin are common side effects. Not eating before treatment may help relieve vomiting. Changes in diet such as eating several small meals or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. In some cases, drug therapy may be necessary to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Temporary hair loss is another common side effect; normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended. Contact your doctor without delay, if you experience any of the following symptoms: unusual weakness or tiredness, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, continuing diarrhea, continuing stomach pain, fever or chills, cough, lower back or side pain, painful or difficult urination, unusual bleeding or bruising, black or tarry stools, blood in urine or stools, small red spots on the skin, sores under the tongue or on lips, wheezing, yellowing skin or eyes, joint pain, swelling of feet or lower legs. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

This medication must not be used by women who are or may become pregnant or while nursing. Because this medication can affect the production of sperm in men, a reliable form of birth control is recommended while taking this medication. Tell your doctor if you have: blood disorders, liver disease, heart disease, gout, allergies (especially drug allergies). Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly as they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the effect on blood cell production (myelosuppression).

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Notes

This medication can lower your body's ability to fight an infection. Notify your doctor if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, sore throat, rash, or chills. Avoid touching your eyes or inside your nose without first washing your hands. Use caution with sharp objects like safety razors or nail cutters and avoid activities such as contact sports in order to lower the chance of getting cut, bruised or injured. Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine. Regular doctor visits are important. Frequent blood tests will be done to monitor therapy.

Missed Dose

Do not double dose if missed. Contact your doctor.

Storage

Refrigerate piggyback or infusion device. Warm to room temperature before infusing. Check expiration date. Store vial at room temperature away from sunlight.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).