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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Dactinomycin

IMPORTANT WARNING:

Dactinomycin when administered into a vein may leak into surrounding tissue. Your doctor or nurse will monitor your administration site for this reaction.

About your treatment

Your doctor has ordered the drug dactinomycin to help treat your illness. The drug is given by injection into a vein.

This medication is used to treat:

  • Wilms' tumor
  • rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Ewing's sarcoma
  • trophoblastic neoplasms
  • testicular carcinoma

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Dactinomycin is a type of antibiotic that is only used in cancer chemotherapy. It slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body. The length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have.

Other uses for this medicine

Dactinomycin also is used to treat various sarcomas, carcinomas, and adenocarcinomas. It also has been used to treat Kaposi's sarcoma; to manage acute organ rejection in patients with kidney or heart transplants; in the treatment of malignant melanoma, acute lymphocytic leukemia, and advanced tumors of the breast and ovary; and in the treatment of Paget's disease. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.

Precautions

Before taking dactinomycin,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to dactinomycin or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially aspirin and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease, ulcers, or gastrointestinal disease.
  • you should know that dactinomycin may interfere with the normal menstrual cycle (period) in women and may stop sperm production in men. However, you should not assume that you cannot get pregnant or that you cannot get someone else pregnant. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should tell their doctors before they begin taking this drug. You should not plan to have children while receiving chemotherapy or for a while after treatments. (Talk to your doctor for further details.) Use a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Dactinomycin may harm the fetus.
  • do not have any vaccinations (e.g., measles or flu shots) without talking to your doctor.

Side effects

Side effects from dactinomycin are common and include:

  • nausea and vomiting which may last up to 24 hours after treatment
  • loss of appetite
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty swallowing
  • thinned or brittle hair
  • blistering skin or acne
  • skin irritation (sunburn-like) or rash on areas previously exposed to radiation treatments

Tell your doctor if either of these symptoms is severe or lasts for several hours:

  • fatigue
  • mouth blistering

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • pain at the injection site
  • persistent diarrhea or any change in normal bowel habits for more than 2 days
  • fever
  • chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • dizziness
  • shortness of breath
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Special instructions

  • The most common side effect of dactinomyin is a decrease of blood cells. Your doctor may order tests before, during, and after your treatment to see if your blood cells are affected by the drug.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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