Drugs A - Z
Melphalan Oral tablet
Generic Name: melphalan
What is this medicine?MELPHALAN (MEL fa lan) is a chemotherapy drug. It slows the growth of cancer cells. This medicine is used to treat multiple myeloma and ovarian cancer.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- blood disorders
- infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
- kidney disease
- an unusual or allergic reaction to melphalan, other chemotherapy, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your next scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses. Call your doctor for advice.
What may interact with this medicine?Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- nalidixic acid
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- medicines to increase blood counts like filgrastim, pegfilgrastim, sargramostim
Talk to your doctor or health care professional before taking any of these medicines:
What should I watch for while using this medicine?Visit your doctor for checks on your progress. This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.
In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.
Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.
Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.
Men should inform their doctor if they wish to father a child. This medicine may lower sperm counts.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- low blood counts - this medicine may decrease the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk for infections and bleeding.
- signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
- signs of decreased platelets or bleeding - bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine
- signs of decreased red blood cells - unusually weak or tired, fainting spells, lightheadedness
- breathing problems
- dark urine
- feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- cough that does not go away
- mouth sores
- nausea, vomiting
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- weight loss
- yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- hair loss
- missed menstrual periods
Where should I keep my medicine?Keep out of the reach of children.
Store in the refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.