"Oct. 24, 2012 -- It is not a desired discussion for the doctor, and certainly not for the patient. But an overwhelming majority of people with advanced cancer are under the impression that the chemotherapy they are receiving will cure their disea"...
Cosmegen Consumer (continued)
Temporary hair loss is another common side effect. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.
Many people using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. To lower your risk of serious side effects, your doctor will follow your condition closely and order lab tests. Serious side effects may not happen until days to weeks after your treatment.
Pain/sores in the mouth and throat may occur. Brush your teeth gently/carefully, avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, and rinse your mouth frequently with cool water mixed with baking soda or salt. It may also be best to eat soft, moist foods. Tell your doctor immediately if these effects persist/worsen or if you have trouble swallowing.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: unusual weakness/tiredness, muscle/joint pain, stomach pain, swelling hands/ankles/feet (edema), pain/redness/swelling of arms/legs, coughing up blood, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, unusual bleeding/bruising, bloody/black/tarry stools, severe abdominal pain, lower back/side (flank) pain, yellowing skin/eyes, red/pinkish/dark urine, painful/difficult urination, change in the amount of urine.
This medication may cause certain severe blood and bone marrow problems (low red blood cells/white blood cells/platelets). These problems can affect your body's ability to stop bleeding or fight infection. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop easy bleeding/bruising or signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, persistent sore throat).
When dactinomycin is given after radiation treatment, it can sometimes cause a serious skin reaction that looks likes a severe sunburn (radiation recall). The reaction usually develops within days to months after treatment on the skin area previously treated with radiation. Throat problems can also be part of radiation recall with dactinomycin. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop skin redness/tenderness/swelling/peeling/blisters or painful/difficult swallowing. If you develop a skin reaction, avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely. However, get medical help right away if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the Cosmegen (dactinomycin for injection) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
PRECAUTIONS: Before using dactinomycin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: current infection with chickenpox or herpes zoster (shingles).
Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: certain virus illnesses (herpes, chickenpox), liver problems, kidney problems, blood disorders (e.g., anemia, clotting problems), previous chemotherapy/radiation treatment.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.
Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections. Avoid contact with people who have illnesses that may spread to others (e.g., flu, chickenpox).
To lower your chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.
Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the effect on blood cell production (myelosuppression).
This drug is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm the unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. To avoid pregnancy, both males and females using this drug should use reliable form(s) of birth control (e.g., birth control pills, condoms) during treatment. Consult your doctor for details and to discuss effective forms of birth control.
It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk. However, it may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Additional Cosmegen Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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