Altretamine : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

IMPORTANT WARNING:

Altretamine can cause serious damage to nerves. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in your hands or feet; weakness in the arms or legs; or loss of ability to move arms or legs; humor changes; or loss of consciousness.

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests before and during your treatment to check your body’s response to altretamine.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Altretamine is used to treat ovarian cancer (cancer that begins in the female reproductive organs where eggs are formed) that has not improved or worsened after treatment with other medications. Altretamine is a drug that belongs to a class of drugs called antineoplastic agents. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body.

How should this medicine be used?

Altretamine comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken four times a day (one dose after each meal and one dose before bed) for 14 to 21 days in a row. This cycle can be repeated once every 4 weeks, depending on your response to the medication. Take altretamine at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take altretamine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor may adjust your dose of altretamine based on your response to treatment and the side effects you experience. Talk to your doctor about how you feel during your treatment. Do not stop taking altretamine without consulting your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking altretamine,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to altretamine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in altretamine capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: cimetidine (Tagamet), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and tranylcypromine (Parnate). Tell your doctor if you have ever received or taken certain chemotherapy drugs such as bendamustine (Treanda), cisplatin (Platinol), carmustine (BiCNU, Gliadel Wafer), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), ifosfamide (Ifex), lomustine (CeeNU), melphalan (Alkeran), procarbazine (Mutalane), temozolomide (Temodar), or thioguanine. Your doctor may need to monitor you closely for side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you have nervous system disorders or blood disorders. Your doctor may tell you not to take altretamine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You should not become pregnant or breastfeed while taking altretamine. If you become pregnant while taking altretamine, call your doctor. Altretamine can harm the fetus.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Altretamine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • dizziness
  • pale skin
  • fainting
  • skin rash
  • itching
  • hair loss

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • fever, chills, sore throat, ongoing cough and congestion, or other signs of an infection
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • bloody or black, tarry stools
  • bloody vomit
  • vomited material that looks like coffee grounds
  • bleeding gums
  • small, round, red or purple colored spots on the skin

Altretamine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure they cannot be consumed by pets, children, and others. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not resistant to children and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.

What other information should I know?

Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.

Brand Names

  • Hexalen®

Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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