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Altretamine (By mouth)

Altretamine (al-TRET-a-meen)

Treats cancer.

Brand Name(s):

Hexalen

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to altretamine, or if you have serious problems with your bone marrow or nerves.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • It is best to take this medicine after meals and at bedtime.
  • You may also receive medicines to help prevent nausea and vomiting.
  • Missed dose: You must use this medicine on a fixed schedule. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you miss a dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Some medicines can affect how altretamine works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
    • Cimetidine
    • MAO inhibitors
    • Pyridoxine (vitamin B6)

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Avoid people who are ill, and wash your hands often. Brush and floss your teeth gently, do not play rough sports, and be careful with sharp objects.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood and do neurologic tests at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Cancer medicines can 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.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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
  • Fainting, dizziness, mood disorders, or problems with balance or walking
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Seizures
  • Yellow skin or eyes

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

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting

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: 7/4/2014


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