How to use Dactinomycin Vial
This medication is given by injection into a vein over 10 to 15 minutes by a health care professional as directed by your doctor, usually once daily for 1 to 5 days. If this medication accidentally leaks into surrounding tissue when being given, the skin and/or muscle may be severely damaged. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have pain, burning, redness, blistering, or irritation at the injection site.
Dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, 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.
See also How to Use section.
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea 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.
Many people using this medication may have serious side effects. However, you have been prescribed this drug because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk. 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 weight gain, signs of liver problems (nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine, painful/difficult urination, red/pinkish urine).
This medication decreases bone marrow function, an effect that may lead to a 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 easy bruising/bleeding. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of the following unlikely symptoms: unusual tiredness, pale skin, signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills), easy bruising/bleeding.
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 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 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.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: current/recent infection (such as herpes, chickenpox), liver problems, kidney problems, blood disorders (such as anemia, clotting problems), previous chemotherapy/radiation treatment.
Dactinomycin can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
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.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using dactinomycin. Dactinomycin may harm an unborn baby. Females using this medication should ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 6 months after stopping treatment. Males using this medication should ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 3 months after stopping treatment. If you or your partner become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug and for 14 days after stopping treatment. 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.
This medication may interfere with certain lab tests (such as antibiotic drug levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center 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.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment 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.