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Table of Contents > Drug > Melphalan Print

Melphalan

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Alkeran®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Alkeran®
    • Mexican Brand Names: Alkeran
    • Pharmacologic Category: Antineoplastic Agent, Alkylating Agent

    Uses
    • It is used to treat multiple myeloma.
    • It is used to treat cancer of the ovary.
    • It is used before a bone marrow transplant.
    • It is used to treat a type of lymphoma.
    • It is used to treat amyloidosis.
    • Melphalan harms cancer cells causing their death.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • Oral:
    • Take on an empty stomach. Take 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
    • Take this drug at the same time of day.
    • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
    • Shot:
    • It is given as a shot into a vein.

    Missed Dose

    • Oral:
    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Shot:
    • Call your doctor for an office visit.

    Storage

    • Oral:
    • Store tablets at room temperature.
    • Protect from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.
    • Shot:
    • This drug will be given to you in a hospital or doctor's office. You will not store it at home.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • This drug is very strong. It may stop your bone marrow from making some of the cells that your body needs. You will be closely watched by your doctor. Tell your doctor right away about any fever, sore throat, signs of infection, bleeding, shortness of breath, or feeling tired.
    • Other types of cancer may rarely happen later in life.
    • Unsafe side effects may happen. This drug cannot be taken while you are taking some other drugs. Check all the drugs you are taking with your doctor.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to melphalan or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
    • If you are breast-feeding.

    Precautions

    • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Talk with your doctor before using other aspirin, products that have aspirin, blood thinners, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo, ibuprofen or like products, pain drugs, or vitamin E.
    • Avoid beer, wine, or mixed drinks.
    • Use birth control that you can trust to stop pregnancy while taking this drug.
    • If you are a man and have sex, protect your partner from pregnancy. Use birth control that you can trust.

    Side Effects

    • Chance of getting an infection. Avoid people with infections, colds, or flu.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Anemia, low white blood cell count, and low platelet count.
    • Loose stools.
    • Skin irritation.
    • Hair loss. Hair most often grows back when this drug is stopped.
    • For women, no period.
    • Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
    • Change in color of urine to brown or orange.
    • Harm to the liver may rarely happen.
    • Harm to the lungs may rarely happen.
    • Other kinds of cancer may rarely happen later in life.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Very bad belly pain.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Very loose stools.
    • Any bruising or bleeding.
    • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Any rash.
    • Health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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