Treats chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to omacetaxine, or if you are pregnant.
How to Use This Medicine
- 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.
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin.
- 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.
If a dose is missed:
- 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.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®) or an NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Your unborn baby could be harmed if you use this medicine while you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have anemia, bleeding problems, diabetes, high blood sugar, or any type of infection.
- This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
- If you think you have an infection, tell your doctor right away. Some signs of an infection are fever, chills, tiredness, weakness, or sore throat.
- This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. Check with your doctor if you are diabetic and notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests.
- This medicine can cause abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. Ask your doctor about ways to control these side effects.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
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
- Blood in the urine or stools, confusion, slurred speech, or changes in vision
- Change in how much or how often you urinate, painful or difficult urination
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
- Increase in hunger or thirst
- Severe diarrhea, constipation, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Hair loss
- Mild diarrhea, constipation, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting
- Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the shot was given
- Mild rash or itching skin
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 Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013