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Amifostine (Injection)

Amifostine (a-mi-FOS-teen)

Protects the kidneys from harmful effects caused by a cancer medicine called cisplatin. Also protects the saliva glands during some types of radiation therapy.

Brand Name(s):

Ethyol

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to amifostine.

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • This medicine is given before cisplatin therapy or radiation therapy. You may also receive other medicines to help prevent nausea and vomiting.
  • You will be watched closely for unwanted side effects while you are receiving this medicine.
  • Drink plenty of fluids during the 24 hours before receiving this medicine.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a diuretic or "water pill" (such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], torsemide, Demadex®, Lasix®) or any medicines for high blood pressure (such as atenolol, lisinopril, metoprolol, quinapril, Accupril®, Cozaar®, Diovan®, Lotrel®, Norvasc®, Toprol®, Zestril®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, heart disease, heart failure, or heart rhythm problems. Tell your doctor if you are dehydrated, or have a history of low blood pressure, strokes, or transient ischemic attacks (TIA).
  • Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have a rash on the lips or mouth; red skin lesions on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet; sores or ulcers on the skin; or fever or chills while you are receiving this medicine.
  • This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; trouble breathing; any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth; or chest pain after you receive this medicine.
  • This medicine may cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
  • Chest pain.
  • Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Red skin lesions on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.
  • Severe nausea or vomiting.
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
  • Sudden dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed.
  • Unusual drowsiness or sleepiness.
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 4/4/2014
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