Generic Name : MELPHALAN
Pronunciation : (mel' fa lan)
Trade Name(s) : Alkeran.
Why it is prescribed: Your doctor has ordered the drug melphalan to help your illness. In addition to melphalan, 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: The drug comes in tablet form. Melphalan slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body.
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. Avoid people with contagious diseases such as the flu.
2. Keep all cuts and scratches clean.
3. Maintain good personal hygiene, including hand washing and mouth care. To avoid injuries, shave with an electric razor instead of blades and wear protective clothing when working in the yard and garden.
4. Do not take any medications, especially those containing aspirin, without doctor's advice.
5. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.
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. In a small number of patients, nausea and vomiting occur, but these problems generally are mild and do not last long. Your doctor may have ordered antinausea medications for you to take if you feel sick. Follow your doctor's instructions.
3. Melphalan may decrease 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. Your doctor may order tests before, during and after your treatment to see if your blood cells are affected by the drug.
4. If you develop any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor as soon as possible: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, bruising, unusual bleeding or rash, fatigue, dizziness, persistent nausea, severe vomiting, weight loss, and missed menstrual periods.
Other Precautions :
1. Try to maintain your normal activity schedule, but avoid stressful situations and be careful not to overexert yourself.
2. Remember to take a break and rest whenever you feel tired.
3. You should not assume that you cannot get pregnant just because you are on chemotherapy.
4. You should not plan to have children while receiving chemotherapy or for a while after treatments.
5. Use a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy.
Storage Conditions : Keep it in a safe place, away from children.