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Plicamycin (mithramycin) is an antibiotic that doctors sometimes use to treat Paget's disease; however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved plicamycin for this purpose. It is used for Paget's disease only if several other forms of treatment have failed. Plicamycin slows the breakdown and rebuilding of bone tissue in the body.

Side effects of plicamycin include:

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Bleeding.

Plicamycin needs to be given intravenously (IV). It is given over 4 to 6 hours for 10 days. Treatment with plicamycin may be repeated once a month.

Plicamycin can be harmful to bone marrow (where blood cells are produced), the liver, and the kidneys. People who receive plicamycin need to have frequent blood tests to watch for signs that the medicine might be affecting any of these organs.

Author Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Michele Cronen
Primary Medical Reviewer Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Hanan Bassyouni, MD - Endocrinology and Metabolism

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 30, 2005
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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