Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Mitotic Inhibitor
Amsacrine belongs to the general group of medicines known as antineoplastics. It is used to treat acute adult leukemia.
Amsacrine interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are then eventually destroyed by the body. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by amsacrine, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Other effects, like hair loss, may not be serious but may cause concern. Some effects may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used.
Before you begin treatment with amsacrine, you and your doctor should talk about the good amsacrine will do as well as the risks of using it.
Amsacrine is to be administered only by or under the supervision of your doctor.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For amsacrine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to amsacrine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Studies on amsacrine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of amsacrine in children with use in other age groups.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of amsacrine in the elderly with use in other age groups.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Using amsacrine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using amsacrine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of amsacrine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Amsacrine often causes nausea and vomiting. However, it is very important that you continue to receive the medication, even if you begin to feel ill. Ask your health care professional for ways to lessen these effects.
The dose of amsacrine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of amsacrine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that amsacrine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
While you are being treated with amsacrine, and after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval. Amsacrine may lower your body's resistance, and there is a chance you might get the infection the immunization is meant to prevent. In addition, other persons living in your household should not take oral polio vaccine, since there is a chance they could pass the polio virus on to you. Also, avoid persons who have taken oral polio vaccine within the last several months. Do not get close to them, and do not stay in the same room with them for very long. If you cannot take these precautions, you should consider wearing a protective face mask that covers the nose and mouth.
Amsacrine can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
If amsacrine accidentally leaks out of the vein into which it is injected, it may damage some tissues and cause scarring. Tell the doctor or nurse right away if you notice redness, pain, or swelling at the place of injection.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:More common
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More Common
amsacrine often causes a temporary loss of hair. After treatment with amsacrine has ended, normal hair growth should return.
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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