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Drugs reference index «Alkeran Tablets»

Alkeran

Generic Name: Melphalan (MEHL-fuh-lan)Brand Name: Alkeran

Alkeran should only be used under the supervision of a doctor experienced with the use of cancer medicines. Alkeran may cause a decrease in the body's blood cells (bone marrow suppression), which could cause bleeding problems or infection. It may also cause blood cell cancer (eg, leukemia). Notify your doctor immediately if you develop easy bleeding or bruising, unusual fatigue, or signs of an infection, such as persistent sore throat or fever.

Alkeran are used for:

Treating certain types of cancer.

Alkeran are an alkylating agent. It works by destroying resting and rapidly dividing tumor cells in certain types of cancer.

Do NOT use Alkeran if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Alkeran
  • you have used Alkeran before and it did not work
  • you are taking nalidixic acid

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Alkeran:

Some medical conditions may interact with Alkeran. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have bone marrow depression, an infection, low white blood cell count, kidney problems, shingles, or chickenpox, or are undergoing radiation therapy

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Alkeran. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Nalidixic acid or cyclosporine because serious intestinal or kidney problems may occur

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Alkeran may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Alkeran:

Use Alkeran as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Alkeran on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
  • If you miss a dose of Alkeran, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Alkeran.

Important safety information:

  • Alkeran may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have thoroughly washed your hands first. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Check with your doctor before having vaccinations while you are using Alkeran.
  • Alkeran may reduce the number of blood cells that are needed for clotting. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations where bruising or injury may occur.
  • If loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting occurs, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for ways to lessen these effects.
  • Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Alkeran. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Alkeran with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Alkeran has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while taking Alkeran. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Alkeran while you are pregnant. It is not known if Alkeran are found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Alkeran.

Possible side effects of Alkeran:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Hair loss; loss of appetite; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; blood in urine or stools; chest pain; dark urine; diarrhea; fainting; fatigue; fever or chills; irregular or absent menstrual periods; joint pain; lower back or side pain; numbness of an arm or leg; persistent cough; persistent nausea or vomiting; shortness of breath; sore throat; sores on the mouth or lips; stomach pain; sudden severe dizziness, headache, or vomiting; swelling of hands, ankles, or feet; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual lumps or growths; unusual tiredness or weakness; yellowing eyes and skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include diarrhea; intestinal bleeding; nausea; vomiting.

Proper storage of Alkeran:

Store Alkeran in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Alkeran out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Alkeran, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Alkeran are to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Alkeran. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • Alkeran Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Alkeran Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Alkeran Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Melphalan Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Melphalan Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)

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