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Drug Guide    D   Dactinomycin

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   Dactinomycin

Dactinomycin
IV


Dactinomycin is used alone or with other anti-cancer drugs to treat cancer. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

 
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OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
Dactinomycin

Uses
Dactinomycin is used alone or with other anti-cancer drugs to treat cancer. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.
Notes
  • Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., complete blood count, liver tests, kidney tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.

Storage
  • Store the unmixed medication at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture.
  • Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted.
  • Do not store in the bathroom.
  • Use immediately after mixing.
  • Discard any unused solution.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.


How To Use
  • Follow all instructions for proper mixing with the correct IV fluids.
  • The liquid should be a light gold/yellow after mixing.
  • Before using this product, check it visually for particles or discoloration.
  • If either is present, do not use the liquid.This medication is given by injection into a vein over a few minutes by a health care professional, usually once daily for 1 to 5 days or as directed by your doctor.
  • Do not give into a muscle or under the skin.
  • Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you experience pain, burning, or redness at the injection site.Dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment.
  • Your doctor will order lab tests to make sure you can receive your next dose.
  • Keep all medical/lab appointments.Learn how to store and discard needles, medical supplies, and medical waste safely.
  • Consult your pharmacist for details.

Side Effects
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, acne, and pain/redness at the injection site may occur.
  • Nausea and vomiting can be severe.
  • In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting.
  • Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects.
  • If these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Temporary hair loss is another common side effect.
  • Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.Many people using this medication may have serious side effects.
  • However, your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • To lower your risk of serious side effects, your doctor will follow your condition closely and order lab tests.
  • Serious side effects may not happen until days to weeks after your treatment.Pain/sores in the mouth and throat may occur.
  • Brush your teeth gently/carefully, avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, and rinse your mouth frequently with cool water mixed with baking soda or salt.
  • It may also be best to eat soft, moist foods.
  • Tell your doctor immediately if these effects persist/worsen or if you have trouble swallowing.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: unusual weakness/tiredness, muscle/joint pain, stomach pain, swelling hands/ankles/feet (edema), pain/redness/swelling of arms/legs, coughing up blood, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, unusual bleeding/bruising, bloody/black/tarry stools.This medication may cause certain severe blood and bone marrow problems (low red blood cells/white blood cells/platelets).
  • These problems can affect your body's ability to stop bleeding or fight infection.
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you develop easy bleeding/bruising or signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, persistent sore throat).When dactinomycin is given after radiation treatment, it can sometimes cause a serious skin reaction that looks likes a severe sunburn (radiation recall).
  • The reaction usually develops within days to months after treatment on the skin area previously treated with radiation.
  • Throat problems can also be part of radiation recall with dactinomycin.
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you develop skin redness/tenderness/swelling/peeling/blisters or painful/difficult swallowing.
  • If you develop a skin reaction, avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps.
  • Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: severe abdominal pain, lower back/side (flank) pain, yellowing skin/eyes, red/pinkish/dark urine, painful/difficult urination, change in the amount of urine.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely.
  • However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions
  • Before using dactinomycin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions.
  • Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: current infection with chickenpox or herpes zoster (shingles).Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: certain virus illnesses (herpes, chickenpox), liver problems, kidney problems, blood disorders (e.g., anemia, clotting problems), previous chemotherapy/radiation treatment.Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.
  • Avoid contact with people who have illnesses that may spread to others (e.g., flu, chickenpox).To lower your chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the effect on blood cell production (myelosuppression).This drug is not recommended for use during pregnancy.
  • It may harm the unborn baby.
  • If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.
  • To avoid pregnancy, both males and females using this drug should use reliable form(s) of birth control (e.g., birth control pills, condoms) during treatment.
  • Consult your doctor for details and to discuss effective forms of birth control.It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.
  • However, it may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant.
  • Therefore, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Missed Dose
  • For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed.
  • If you miss a dose, contact your doctor to establish a new dosing schedule.
  • Do not double the dose to catch up.

Drug Interactions
  • Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them.
  • Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: live vaccines (e.g., flu vaccine inhaled through the nose, typhoid/polio vaccine taken by mouth).If you are currently receiving or planning any vaccinations, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting dactinomycin.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin, enoxaparin), salicylates/NSAIDs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, sodium salicylate).Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many contain pain relievers/fever reducers (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin) that can increase your risk of bleeding.
  • Low-dose aspirin should be continued if prescribed by your doctor for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day).
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.This product can affect the results of certain lab tests (e.g., antibiotic drug levels), possibly causing false test results.
  • Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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