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Alkeran (Generic Melphalan)

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WARNING

In your bone marrow, melphalan can result in a significant drop in the amount of blood cells. This could result in specific symptoms and raise your risk of getting a major infection or bleeding. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: Bloody or black, tarry stools, bloody vomit, or vomiting blood or brown material that resembles coffee grounds are all indications of an infection, as are fever, sore throat, persistent cough, and congestion.

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. Before and during your treatment, your doctor will routinely conduct laboratory tests to check on how this medication is affecting your blood cells.

Melphalan may make you more likely to get other cancers. You should discuss the dangers of taking melphalan with your doctor.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Multiple myeloma is treated with melphalan (a type of cancer of the bone marrow). A certain type of ovarian cancer can also be treated with melphalan (cancer that begins in the female reproductive organs where eggs are formed). Alkylating agents are a class of drugs that includes melphalan. It functions by halting or reducing the growth of cancer cells within your body.

How should this medicine be used?

Melphalan is available as an oral tablet. Once daily, it is often taken empty-chested. The sort of drugs you are taking, how well your body reacts to them, and the type of cancer you have will all affect how long your treatment will last. Melphalan should be taken every day at about the same time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Take Melphalan as prescribed by your doctor. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Depending on how you respond to the medication and any adverse effects you experience, your doctor may decide to postpone your treatment or change your melphalan dosage. Discuss your feelings regarding your treatment with your doctor. Without consulting your physician, do not discontinue taking melphalan.

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

Other uses for this medicine

Additionally, melphalan is occasionally used to treat breast cancer. In rare cases, it is employed to treat amyloidosis (a disease in which abnormal proteins build up in tissues and organs in the body). 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 taking melphalan,

  • If you have an allergy to melphalan, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in melphalan tablets, 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. Mention carmustine (BICNU, BCNU), cimetidine (Tagamet), cisplatin (Platinol AQ), cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Gengraf, Neoral), or interferon alfa if you are using any of these medications (Intron A, Infergen, Alferon N).
  • If you have an allergy to melphalan, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in melphalan tablets, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor if you have recently undergone chemotherapy or radiation treatment, or if you have ever had renal illness.
  • You should be aware that melphalan can disrupt a woman’s regular menstrual cycle and can either temporarily or permanently limit a man’s ability to reproduce sperm. Although melphalan may make it harder to get pregnant, this does not mean that you cannot or that you cannot help someone else become pregnant. Pregnant or nursing women should inform their doctors before starting this medication. While undergoing chemotherapy or for a while after treatments, you shouldn’t intend to get pregnant. (Ask your doctor for more information.) To prevent conception, use a proven birth control method. The foetus can suffer from melphalan.
  • Avoid getting any shots without first consulting your doctor.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

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

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite loss or weight loss
  • In the mouth and throat sores
  • Missed monthly cycles (in girls and women)
  • Back, joint, or muscle pain

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:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Light skin
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Hammering, rapid, or inconsistent heartbeat
  • The skin or eyes turning yellow
  • Stomach pain in the upper right corner of the bladder and dark pee
  • Unusual mounds or lumps

Other negative effects of melphalan 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).

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

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it out of the light and in the refrigerator.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org

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.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • In the mouth and throat sores
  • Bloody, dark, or tarry stools
  • Vomit that has blood in it or looks like coffee grounds
  • Abnormal bleeding or bruising
  • Fever, cough, sore throat, or other infection-related symptoms

What other information should I know?

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

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

  • Alkeran® Tablets
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