Melphalan

Description

Melphalan is an anticancer agent which is used in the treatment of multiple myeloma (a type of blood cancer) and ovarian cancer. It should be used under the supervision of a qualified physician. Close monitoring of kidney function and blood cell count is necessary while receiving this medication.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Melphalan

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decrease in blood cell count
  • Hair loss
  • Itching and rash
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

Uses of Melphalan

What is it prescribed for?

  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Ovarian Cancer
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The amount of time required for this medicine to show its action is not clinically established.
  • Duration of effect
    The amount of time for which this medicine remains active in the body is not clinically established.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit-forming tendencies were reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding for a specific period of time or prescribe an alternative medicine based on your clinical condition.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to melphalan, chlorambucil or any other inactive ingredients present along with it.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding for a specific period of time or prescribe an alternative medicine based on your clinical condition.
General warnings

Secondary Malignancies

This medicine is known to increase the risk of secondary cancers including acute leukemia, myeloproliferative syndrome and other carcinomas. Close monitoring of signs and symptoms is necessary. The treatment should be discontinued if malignancy develops.

Bonemarrow suppression

This medicine may cause bone marrow suppression which in turn lowers the white blood cell count (neutrophils) and platelets. Close monitoring of blood cell count is necessary. The baseline of the blood cell count should be obtained before initiation of the treatment. Do not start the treatment if the counts are less.

Impairment of Fertility

This medicine causes suppression of ovarian function in women of reproductive age, resulting in abnormal menstruation in a significant number of patients. Reversible and irreversible testicular suppression have also been reported.

Kidney disease

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with kidney diseases due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition. Regular monitoring of the kidney function tests is necessary while receiving this medicine. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Use in Children

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients below 18 years of age since the safety and efficacy of use are not clinically established. In specific circumstances, your physician may prescribe you this medicine based on your clinical condition and risk-benefit ratio.

Missed Dose

Oral: The missed dose of this medicine should be taken as soon as possible. It is advisable to skip the missed dose if it is already the time for your next scheduled dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Injection: Since this medicine is usually administered by a qualified healthcare professional in the clinical/hospital setting, the likelihood of a missed dose is very low.

Overdose

Oral: Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose. Injection: Since this medicine is administered in the hospital or clinical setting by a qualified healthcare professional, the likelihood of an overdose is very low. However, emergency medical treatment will be initiated by the doctor if an overdose is suspected.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Leflunomide

Live attenuated vaccines and related products

Etanercept

Adalimumab

Clozapine

Disease interactions

Infections

This medicine should be used with caution in patients suffering from infections due to the increased risk of bone marrow suppression which causes worsening of infections. Report any signs or symptoms suggesting infection such as fever, sore throat, or local infection to the doctor during the treatment with this medicine. Close clinical monitoring of hematopoietic function is recommended. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Oral: Take this medicine as advised by the doctor. It should be given in multiple cycles along with other chemotherapy agents. It is important to receive every scheduled dose. The blood cells count and kidney function should be assessed before starting the treatment. Report any unusual symptoms to the doctor on priority. Injection: This medicine is usually administered in the clinical/hospital setting under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. Follow all the instructions given by your doctor. Inform the doctor if you have a known allergy to this medicine. Report all your current medicines as well as your medical conditions to the doctor before receiving this medicine.
Miscelleneous

To be taken on an empty stomach

To be taken as instructed by doctor

Effect on sleep is not established

How it works
It works by interfering with the DNA synthesis and inhibiting the tumor growth.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Antineoplastics/ Alkylating Agent

Schedule

Schedule H

[Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2018 [cited 12 September 2018]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=e9c2efee-173d-4795-96d8-7aae5b3a3073

[Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2018 [cited 12 September 2018]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=5bc0a79d-eb07-9685-8e98-4f1979b84a48

[Internet]. Medicines.org.uk. 2018 [cited 12 September 2018]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/3806/smpc#

[Internet]. Medicines.org.uk. 2018 [cited 12 September 2018]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/927/smpc#

[Internet]. Ebs.tga.gov.au. 2018 [cited 12 September 2018]. Available from:

https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/ebs/picmi/picmirepository.nsf/pdf?OpenAgent&id=CP-2010-PI-07704-3&d=201809121016933

[Internet]. Ebs.tga.gov.au. 2018 [cited 12 September 2018]. Available from:

https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/ebs/picmi/picmirepository.nsf/pdf?OpenAgent&id=CP-2010-PI-07357-3&d=201809121016933

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Information on this page was last updated on 21 Jan 2019

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.