Pentostatin is used to treat a certain type of cancer (hairy cell leukemia). It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used to treat other types of cancer (e.g., chronic lymphocytic leukemia).
This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional, usually every other week or as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment.
To help reduce side effects to the kidneys, your doctor may prescribe IV fluids before and after you receive pentostatin.
Mild rash/itching may occur. Tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly if any of these effects occur. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, increased sweating, or mouth sores may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Many people using this medication have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: change in the amount of urine, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, trouble sleeping, shortness of breath, cough, unusual weakness/tiredness, swelling ankles/feet, muscle/joint pain, muscle spasm, mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, anxiety), numbness/tingling of the skin, decreased sexual ability/interest, fainting, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, vision/hearing changes, pain/redness/swelling of arms or legs.
Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: seizures, chest pain.
This medication may cause very serious blood disorders (decreased bone marrow function leading to low number of blood cells such as red cells, white cells, and platelets). This effect can cause anemia, decrease your body's ability to fight an infection, or cause your body to bruise or bleed more easily. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms: signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding, unusual tiredness, fast/pounding heartbeat.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using pentostatin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, recent/current infections, blood/bone marrow disorder.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.
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.
To lower your risk of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Therefore, it is important to prevent pregnancy while using this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control (e.g., condoms, birth control pills) while using this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: allopurinol, drugs that may decrease bone marrow function (e.g., azathioprine), drugs that may weaken the immune system (e.g., cyclosporine), fludarabine, vidarabine.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: trouble breathing, seizures, fainting, change in the amount of urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood count, kidney/liver function) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
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 right away to establish a new dosing schedule.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised January 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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