Ethyol (Generic Amifostine Injection)
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Why is this medication prescribed?
Patients who use amifostine for the treatment of ovarian cancer have their kidneys protected from the damaging effects of the chemotherapy drug cisplatin. Amifostine is additionally used to lessen tongue dryness brought on by radiation therapy following head and neck cancer surgery. Amifostine belongs to the group of drugs known as cytoprotectants. It functions by defending against the damaging effects of chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation therapy.
How should this medicine be used?
Amifostine is administered intravenously (into a vein) by a doctor or nurse and comes as a powder that must be combined with fluids. Amifostine is often given over 15 minutes beginning 30 minutes before your chemotherapy treatment in order to protect the kidneys from the damaging effects of cisplatin. Amifostine is often administered over three minutes beginning 15 to 30 minutes before your radiation treatment to lessen the very dry mouth brought on by radiation therapy.
For a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient, ask your chemist or doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
Amifostine is also occasionally used to treat specific blood cell disorders and to avoid or lessen the negative effects of some chemotherapy drugs or radiation therapy.
Ask your doctor or chemist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before receiving amifostine,
- If you have an allergy to amifostine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in amifostine injection, let your doctor and chemist know right away. Request a list of the ingredients from your chemist.
- Inform your doctor and chemist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use. Mention any blood pressure drugs you may be taking. 24 hours prior to receiving an injection of amifostine, your doctor will advise you to cease taking your blood pressure medication. Inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking because many others may interact with amifostine.
- If you have or have ever had heart disease, an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, a stroke, or a ministroke, let your doctor know.
- Inform your doctor if you are nursing a baby or want to become pregnant. Call your doctor if you conceive while taking amifostine. If you are receiving amifostine medication, you shouldn’t breastfeed.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Amifostine could have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Flushing or a warm sensation
- Chills or a chilling sensation
- General sense of fatigue
Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms:
- Breathing difficulty
- Fuzzy vision
- Chest constriction
- Chest ache
- Breathing or swallowing challenges
- Blistered or flaking skin
- Hammering, rapid, or irregular pulse
Other negative effects of amifostine may occur. 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 at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch or by phone at 1-800-332-1088 if you suffer a serious side event.
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:
What other information should I know?
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To monitor your body’s reaction to amifostine, your doctor will request specific lab 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.