Melphalan (By injection)

Introduction

Melphalan (MEL-fa-lan)

Treats multiple myeloma.

Brand Name(s)

Alkeran, Melphalan Hydrochloride Novaplus, PremierPro Rx Melphalan HCl

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

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. It usually takes at least 15 minutes to receive one dose of this medicine.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

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 melphalan works. Tell your doctor if you are using cisplatin, cyclosporine, or nalidixic acid, or if you are receiving radiation treatment.
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines. Avoid live vaccines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • This medicine may cause birth defects if either partner is using it during conception or pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control during and after treatment.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease or any infection.
  • 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.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Liver problems
    • Increased risk for other types of cancer, including leukemia
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
  • This medicine could cause infertility. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children. Women may stop having menstrual periods temporarily.
  • Cancer medicine can cause nausea or vomiting, sometimes even after you receive medicine to prevent these effects. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control any nausea or vomiting that might happen.
  • 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
  • Dark urine or pale stools, loss of appetite, yellow skin or eyes
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Sores or ulcers on your lips or mouth, trouble swallowing
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

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

  • Mild nausea or vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain or upset
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed
  • Weight loss

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

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/12/2016

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