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Alkeran

Last reviewed on RxList: 11/16/2016
Alkeran Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 1/3/2016

Alkeran (melphalan) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of multiple myeloma and ovarian cancer. Side effects of Alkeran include weight loss, loss of appetite, weakness, blistering skin or acne, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips, temporary hair loss, or skin itching and rash. Severe side effects of Alkeran may occur.

Alkeran is available in 2 mg tablets and should be administered only by a physician qualified in chemotherapy treatment. The usual oral dose is 6 mg (3 tablets) daily. The entire daily dose may be given at one time. Alkernan should be administered in carefully adjusted dosage by or under the supervision of experienced physicians who are familiar with the drug's actions and possible complications of its use. Alkeran may interact with "live" vaccines, cyclosporine, radiation therapy, steroids or other chemotherapy medicines. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use and all vaccines you recently received. Alkernan may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Women of child bearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant. It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Alkeran should not be given to nursing mothers and has not been approved for use in pediatric populations.

Our Alkeran (melphalan) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Alkeran Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • missed menstrual periods;
  • unusual lumps or masses;
  • red skin rash, rapid pulse, pain, weight loss;
  • breathing problems or a cough that won't go away; or
  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, confusion and weakness.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • temporary hair loss; or
  • mild skin itching and rash.

In some cases, second cancers have been reported to occur during and after treatment with melphalan. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk and benefit in using this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Alkeran (Melphalan)

Alkeran Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

Hematologic

The most common side effect is bone marrow suppression leading to leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia. Although bone marrow suppression frequently occurs, it is usually reversible if melphalan is withdrawn early enough. However, irreversible bone marrow failure has been reported.

Gastrointestinal

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and oral ulceration occur. Hepatic disorders ranging from abnormal liver function tests to clinical manifestations such as hepatitis and jaundice have been reported.

Miscellaneous

Other reported adverse reactions include: pulmonary fibrosis (including fatal outcomes) and interstitial pneumonitis, skin hypersensitivity, maculopapular rashes, vasculitis, alopecia, and hemolytic anemia. Allergic reactions, including urticaria, edema, skin rashes, and rare anaphylaxis, have occurred after multiple courses of treatment. Cardiac arrest has also been reported rarely in association with such reports.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Alkeran (Melphalan)

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© Alkeran Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Alkeran Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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