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. It may also be given by a home health caregiver. 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.
If any of the medicine gets on your skin, tell your caregiver right away.
Drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you are using this medicine. This will keep your kidneys working well and help prevent bladder problems.
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 allopurinol (Zyloprim®), pentostatin (Nipent®), phenobarbital (Luminal®), succinylcholine (Anectine®), tamoxifen (Nolvadex®), a steroid (such as cortisone, prednisone), or other cancer medicines or radiation (X-ray treatments).
Talk to your doctor before getting any vaccines (such as flu shots).
This medicine can cause birth defects if it is used by the mother while she is pregnant or by the father when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. If a pregnancy occurs while you are using this medicine, tell your doctor right away. Use two forms of birth control to avoid pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 6 months after your treatment ends. This is very important whether you are a man or a woman.
If you plan to have children, talk with your doctor before using this medicine. Some men and women using this medicine have become infertile (unable to have children).
Make sure your doctor knows if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or blood cell or bone marrow disorders. Some patients using this medicine have developed second forms of cancer, even years after stopping the medicine. Talk to your doctor about this risk.
Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine for several days before having surgery.
Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
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.