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Toxic effects (excepting nausea and vomiting) usually do not become apparent until two to four days after a course of therapy is stopped, and may not peak until one to two weeks have elapsed. Deaths have been reported. However, adverse reactions are usually reversible on discontinuance of therapy. They include the following:
Gastrointestinal: anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, gastrointestinal ulceration. Nausea and vomiting, which occur early during the first few hours after administration, may be alleviated by the administration of anti-emetics.
Hepatic: liver toxicity including liver function test abnormalities, ascites, hepatomegaly, hepatitis, hepatic failure with reports of death, hepatic veno-occlusive disease which may be associated with intravascular clotting disorder and multi-organ failure (see PRECAUTIONS, Veno-occlusive Disease).
Hematologic: anemia, even to the point of aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, pancytopenia, reticulocytopenia, neutropenia, febrile neutropenia. Platelet and white cell counts should be performed frequently to detect severe hematopoietic depression. If either count markedly decreases, the drug should be withheld to allow marrow recovery. This often takes up to three weeks.
Soft tissues: Dactinomycin is extremely corrosive. If extravasation occurs during intravenous use, severe damage to soft tissues will occur. In at least one instance, this has led to contracture of the arms. Epidermolysis, erythema, and edema, at times severe, have been reported with regional limb perfusion.
Many abnormalities of renal, hepatic, and bone marrow function have been reported in patients with neoplastic diseases receiving COSMEGEN. Renal, hepatic, and bone marrow functions should be assessed frequently.
Read the Cosmegen (dactinomycin for injection) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »
Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions
Dactinomycin may interfere with bioassay procedures for the determination of antibacterial drug levels.
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/16/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Cosmegen Information
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