You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to dactinomycin, or if you are pregnant. You should not receive this medicine if you have chickenpox or shingles (herpes zoster).
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 and vomiting.
Do not get this medicine on your skin or in your eyes. This medicine can be very harmful if it comes into contact with these areas, or if any medicine leaks out of the IV needle. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel any burning, pain, redness, blistering, or swelling while you are receiving 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 breast feeding, if you have kidney or liver disease. Tell your doctor if you have ever been treated with radiation. Your doctor should know if you have recently been exposed to chickenpox or herpes.
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.
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.
Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
This medicine may increase your risk of having other tumors. Talk with your doctor about this if you have concerns.
Some of the side effects of dactinomycin may not happen until a few days after you stop using the medicine.