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Alkeran Injection

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

Last reviewed on RxList 4/21/2016

Alkeran (melphalan hydrochloride) for Injection is a cancer medication used to treat multiple myeloma (a type of blood cancer), cancer of the ovary, and breast cancer. Alkeran is available in generic form. Common side effects of Alkeran include:

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

The usual IV dose of Alkeran is 16 mg/m�. Alkeran may interact with cyclosporine, radiation therapy, steroids, or other chemotherapy medicines. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Alkeran is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It can harm a fetus. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use birth control while you are using this medication. Alkeran can affect fertility, whether you are a man or a woman. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Alkeran (melphalan hydrochloride) for Injection 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 Injection 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 Injection (Melphalan Hcl Injection)

Alkeran Injection Professional Information



The following information on adverse reactions is based on data from both oral and IV administration of melphalan as a single agent, using several different dose schedules for treatment of a wide variety of malignancies.

Hematologic: The most common side effect is bone marrow suppression leading to leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia. White blood cell count and platelet count nadirs usually occur 2 to 3 weeks after treatment, with recovery in 4 to 5 weeks after treatment. Irreversible bone marrow failure has been reported.

Gastrointestinal: Gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and oral ulceration occur infrequently. Hepatic disorders ranging from abnormal liver function tests to clinical manifestations such as hepatitis and jaundice have been reported. Hepatic veno-occlusive disease has been reported.

Hypersensitivity:Acute hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis were reported in 2.4% of 425 patients receiving ALKERAN for Injection for myeloma (see WARNINGS). These reactions were characterized by urticaria, pruritus, edema, skin rashes, and in some patients, tachycardia, bronchospasm, dyspnea, and hypotension. These patients appeared to respond to antihistamine and corticosteroid therapy. If a hypersensitivity reaction occurs, IV or oral melphalan should not be readministered since hypersensitivity reactions have also been reported with oral melphalan. Cardiac arrest has also been reported rarely in association with such reports.

Miscellaneous: Other reported adverse reactions include skin hypersensitivity, skin ulceration at injection site, skin necrosis rarely requiring skin grafting, maculopapular rashes, vasculitis, alopecia, hemolytic anemia, allergic reaction, pulmonary fibrosis (including fatal outcomes), and interstitial pneumonitis. Temporary significant elevation of the blood urea has been seen in the early stages of therapy in patients with renal damage. Subjective and transient sensation of warmth and/or tingling.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Alkeran Injection (Melphalan Hcl Injection)

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

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