Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
You may also receive medicines to help prevent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Ask your doctor or other health caregiver if you should drink extra water while you are using this medicine. This could help you avoid feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
If a dose is missed:
This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using amiodarone (Cordarone®), isoniazid, ketoconazole (Nizoral®), nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin®), blood pressure medicine (such as atenolol, lisinopril, metoprolol, Accupril®, Toprol®, or Zestril®), diuretics or "water pills" (such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, or Hyzaar®), oral medicine for diabetes (such as glyburide, metformin, Avandia®, or Glucotrol®), medicine to lower cholesterol (such as atorvastatin or Lipitor®), or medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as didanosine, lamivudine, ritonavir, stavudine, zidovudine, Combivir®, Epivir®, or Kaletra®).
Tell your doctor if you have used any other medicine that might cause nerve problems.
Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Do not breastfeed while you are using this medicine.
Make sure your doctor knows if you have heart disease, liver disease, lung disease, diabetes, a history of fainting or low blood pressure, herpes virus infection, or have ever had a nerve problem called peripheral neuropathy.
This medicine may cause serious heart problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, or swelling of the feet, ankles, or legs while you are using this medicine.
This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert. You may feel lightheaded when standing, so stand up slowly.
This medicine may increase your chance of having a brain condition called reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS). Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you start having headaches, seizures, extreme drowsiness, confusion, or problems with vision while you are using this medicine.
This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.