Generic Name : DACTINOMYCINPronunciation :
(dak ti noe mye' sin)Trade Name(s) :
Cosmegen, DacmozenWhy it is prescribed:
Your doctor has ordered the drug
dactinomycin to help treat your illness. The drug will be injected
into a vein. Dactinomycin slows or stops the growth of cancer
cells in your body. In addition to dactinomycin, your doctor may
have ordered other cancer-fighting drugs; this treatment is called
combination therapy. Your doctor may measure the effectiveness
of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations.
In general, the length of treatment depends on the types of drugs
you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type
of cancer you have.When it is to be taken: How it should be taken:
The purpose of chemotherapy is
to control your illness so that your own body can aid in your
recovery. It is important to build up your body's defense system,
and a balanced diet is needed to build a healthy body. Ask your
doctor for advice on your diet.Special Instruction :
1. It is especially important to prevent infection and injuries.
2. Avoid people with contagious diseases such as the flu.
3. Keep all cuts and scratches clean.
4. Maintain good personal hygiene, including hand washing and
5. To avoid injuries, shave with an electric razor instead of
blades and wear protective clothing.
6. Tell your doctor if you regularly take any medication, especially
digoxin, do not take any medications, especially those containing
aspirin, without your doctor's advice.
7. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. It is important to take
regular care of your mouth to prevent infection.
8. Brush with a soft-bristle toothbrush or cotton swab.
9. Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol or lots of salt because
they can irritate your mouth.
10. It is also important to eat well. Careful food selection will
allow your mouth to heal while providing good nutrition. If your
mouth becomes dry, eat moist foods, drink plenty of fluids, and
suck on sugarless hard candy.
11. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and citrus juices.Side Effects :
1. Although not everyone experiences side effects during chemotherapy,
some people do. If any of the effects becomes intolerable, let
your doctor know.
2. You may lose your appetite, or your appetite may be greater
in the morning or at different times during the day than usual.
Take advantage of these times and eat. Frequent small meals or
snacks throughout the day may be easier to tolerate and will help
you get the nutrients your body needs.
3. Common discomforts are nausea and vomiting. These problems
may last up to 24 hours after treatment. Your doctor may have
ordered anti-nausea medications to prevent you from feeling sick.
Avoid eating favorite foods, large meals, and spicy or hot foods
when you feel nauseated.
4. Dactinomycin may cause a decrease in the number of blood cells.
These cells include white blood cells that fight infection, red
blood cells that carry oxygen and energy, and platelets that help
clot blood and promote healing.
5. Abdominal pain, with or without diarrhea, may occur. If you
have diarrhea, replace lost fluids, by drinking more liquids than
usual. Also, a high-fiber diet may help control diarrhea.
6. Dactinomycin may affect the lining of your mouth, causing redness,
irritation, or sores. You may experience a sore throat or mouth
7. Dactinomycin has caused fever, with or without chills, in some
patients. These symptoms usually occur during the treatment and
stop after the treatment is discontinued. Drink plenty of fluids
when a fever is present unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
If the fever or chills continue, let your doctor know.
8. You may also experience weakness, aching and headache, but
these symptoms generally do not last long.
9. If you notice any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor
as soon as possible: sore throat, unusual bleeding or bruising,
change in normal bowel habits for more than two days, muscle weakness,
walking or handwriting difficulties, cough, fatigue, dizziness,
and shortness of breath.Other Precautions :
1. Do not take aspirin or aspirin-substitute products without
your doctor's advice.
2. Try to maintain your normal activity schedule, but avoid stressful
situations and be careful not to overexert yourself.
3. Remember to take a break and rest whenever you fell tired.
4. You should not assume that you couldn't get pregnant just because
you are on chemotherapy.
5. You should not plan to have children while receiving chemotherapy
or for a while after treatments.
6. Use a reliable method of birth control.
7. Your doctor may order tests before, during, and after your
treatment to see if your blood cells are affected by the drug.Storage Conditions :
Procedures for proper handling and
disposal of anti cancer drugs should be considered.