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Actinomycin (Generic Dactinomycin)

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WARNING

Dactinomycin injection must be administered in a hospital or other healthcare institution under the direction of a physician with training in administering chemotherapy drugs for cancer.

Only a vein should be used to inject dactinomycin. It could, however, leak into nearby tissue and cause serious harm or irritation. Your administration site will be observed by your doctor or nurse for this reaction. Call your doctor right away if you suffer any of the following signs and symptoms in the area where the drug was injected: pain, itching, redness, swelling, blisters, or sores.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Children with Wilms’ tumour, a form of kidney cancer, and children with rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that develops in the muscles, are treated with dactinomycin in combination with other drugs, surgery, and/or radiation therapy. Additionally, certain forms of Ewing’s sarcoma and testicular cancer are treated with dactinomycin in combination with additional drugs (a type of cancer in bones or muscles). Gestational trophoblastic tumours, a type of tumour that develops inside a woman’s uterus while she is pregnant, can also be treated with dactinomycin alone or in combination with other drugs. It is also possible to employ dactinomycin to treat certain malignant tumours that are found in a particular region of the body. An antibiotic of this kind called dactinomycin is solely employed in the treatment of cancer. It functions by reducing or halting the development of cancer cells within your body.

How should this medicine be used?

Dactinomycin is sold as a powder that must be combined with fluids and administered intravenously (into a vein) by a medical professional. Depending on the type of cancer you have, the other medications you are taking, and how well your body responds to treatment, the length of your treatment will vary. If you have particular adverse effects, your doctor may decide to halt or postpone your treatment. To treat the location where a tumour is located, a doctor may also inject dactinomycin directly into the affected bodily component or organ.

For a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient, ask your pharmacist or doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

Additionally, dactinomycin is occasionally used to treat an ovarian cancer subtype (a cancer that begins in the female reproductive organs where eggs are formed). The dangers of using this drug for your illness should be discussed with your doctor.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving dactinomycin,

  • If you have an allergy to dactinomycin, any other drugs, or any of the ingredients in dactinomycin injection, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use.
  • If you have herpes zoster or the chicken pox, let your doctor know (shingles). You won’t likely get a dactinomycin injection from your doctor.
  • If you have ever undergone radiation therapy or are currently undergoing radiation therapy, let your doctor know.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. While undergoing dactinomycin, you shouldn’t get pregnant or breastfeed. Call your doctor if you conceive while taking dactinomycin. The foetus could suffer from dactinomycin.
  • Avoid getting any shots without first consulting your doctor.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Dactinomycin could have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair fall

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these signs or any of those in the IMPORTANT WARNING section:

  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Nausea
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Uncommon bruising or bleeding
  • Mouth and throat sores
  • Not enough energy
  • Reduced appetite
  • Upper right stomach region discomfort
  • The skin or eyes turning yellow
  • Fever, persistent cough and congestion, sore throat, or other infection-related symptoms
  • Uncommon bruising or bleeding
  • Seats that are dark and tarry
  • Blood in the faeces, red

The use of dactinomycin may make you more likely to get other malignancies. Discuss the dangers of getting a dactinomycin injection with your doctor.

Other negative effects of dactinomycin are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Overdose signs could include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth and throat sores
  • Fever, chills, sore throat, or other symptoms of infection
  • Seats that are dark and tarry
  • Blood in the faeces, red
  • Nausea
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Uncommon bruising or bleeding
  • Not enough energy
  • Reduced appetite
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Pain in the upper right portion of the stomach
  • Flu-like signs
  • Less urinations
  • Face, arm, hand, foot, ankle, or lower leg swelling
  • Hives

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how well your body is responding to dactinomycin, your doctor will prescribe a few tests.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Cosmegen®
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