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. It is usually given every day for 5 days. This 5-day treatment is given again every 2 to 6 weeks until your body responds to the medicine. Each treatment usually takes about 2 hours a day.
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.
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.
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.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or bone marrow problems (such as anemia, a low white cell count, or a low platelet cell count). Also, tell your doctor if you have had a bone marrow transplant, which may also be called a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT).
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.
This medicine may cause you to have high amounts of uric acid in the blood or a serious type of reaction called the tumor lysis syndrome. Your doctor may give you a medicine to help prevent this. Call your doctor right away if you have a decrease or change in urine amount; joint pain, stiffness, or swelling; lower back, side, or stomach pain; rapid weight gain; swelling of the feet or lower legs; or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Call your doctor right away if you have dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly; a fast or irregular heartbeat; shortness of breath; or swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs. These may be symptoms of rare but serious conditions called capillary leak syndrome or systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS).
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.