If this medication accidentally leaks into surrounding tissue when being given, the skin and/or muscle may be severely damaged. Tell your doctor right away if you feel pain or irritation at the injection site.
Be very careful when handling/giving this medication. This medication may be very harmful to your skin, eyes, or mucous membranes. To avoid touching this medication or inhaling its dust or vapors, wear protective clothing (e.g., gown, mask, gloves). If this medication gets in your eye, open the eyelids and flush with water, saline, or an eyewash solution for 15 minutes, then seek immediate medical attention. If this medication touches your skin, nose, mouth, or other area, immediately wash the area well with water for 15 minutes, then seek immediate medical attention. Remove and discard any contaminated clothing.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the powder.Who should not take dactinomycin intravenous?
Dactinomycin is used alone or with other anti-cancer drugs to treat cancer. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.
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 right away 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.
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 right away if these effects persist/worsen or if you have trouble swallowing.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: 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, severe abdominal pain, lower back/side (flank) pain, yellowing skin/eyes, red/pinkish/dark urine, painful/difficult urination, change in the amount of urine.
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 right away 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 right away 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.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely. However, get medical help right away if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: 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 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
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 dactinomycin, 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.
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 right away. 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.
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: "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin, enoxaparin), live vaccines (e.g., flu vaccine inhaled through the nose, typhoid/polio vaccine taken by mouth), 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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