IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
ALTRETAMINE – ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Hexalen
WARNING: Altretamine may cause serious blood disorders (decreased bone marrow function leading to low number of blood cells such as white cells, red cells, and platelets) or nerve/brain disorders. The blood disorders can decrease your body’s ability to fight an infection, cause your body to bruise or bleed easier, or cause anemia. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: signs of an infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding, unusual tiredness, fast/pounding heartbeat, numbness/tingling of the arms/legs, mental/mood changes, seizures, loss of coordination, dizziness.
You will be closely monitored (e.g., blood tests such as complete blood count, neurologic exams) by your doctor while using this medication. Keep all medical and laboratory appointments.
USES: This medication is used to treat cancer of the ovaries after other treatments have not been successful.
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth, usually 4 times daily (after meals and at bedtime) or as directed by your doctor.
The dosage is based on your body size and response to treatment.
Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.
Nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, your doctor may reduce your dose or prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Eating several small meals or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Temporary hair loss may rarely occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: change in the amount of urine.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US –
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking altretamine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, brain/nerve disorders, blood/bone marrow disorders (e.g., low levels of platelets/white blood cells/red blood cells).
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.
To lower your risk of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Therefore, it is important to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss using at least 2 reliable forms of birth control (e.g., condoms, birth control pills) while taking this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: nalidixic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B6).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine).
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. (See also Warning section.)
MISSED DOSE: For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-800-854-1166 (USA) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised September 2011. Copyright(c) 2011 First Databank, Inc.