IMPORTANT NOTE: The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

AMIFOSTINE - INJECTION

(am-ih-FOSS-teen)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Ethyol

USES: This medication is used to reduce the risk of kidney problems caused by the use of cisplatin or to reduce dry mouth caused by radiation treatment.

OTHER USES: This drug may also be used for prevention of lung damage caused by the use of paclitaxel.

HOW TO USE: This medication is injected into a vein before cancer treatment. Use exactly as directed by the doctor. This drug is given while the person is lying down to minimize dizziness. Medication to prevent nausea and vomiting may be given along with this drug.

SIDE EFFECTS: Flushed/warm or chills/cool sensations, dizziness, drowsiness, hiccups, sneezing, nausea/vomiting might occur. If these persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of the following highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: fainting episodes, irregular heartbeat, seizures, muscle twitching/cramping. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: fever, rash, itching, severe dizziness, swelling, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

PRECAUTIONS: Before using this drug, tell your doctor your medical history, including: allergies (especially drug allergies), blood vessel or heart disease, very low or high blood pressure, kidney disease. If you are taking medication to treat high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend a change in your dose a day before your amifostine infusion to minimize side effects. Consult your doctor for details. Limit alcohol use as this may increase the drowsiness effect of this medication. Caution performing tasks requiring mental alertness if this medicine causes drowsiness or dizziness. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known whether is excreted into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding. Caution is advised when this drug is used in the elderly.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Tell your doctor of all nonprescription or prescription medication you may use, especially of: drugs for high blood pressure. Also report use of drugs that cause drowsiness, such as: sleep medicines, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine, morphine), psychiatric medicines, anti-seizure medicines, muscle relaxants, certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), sedatives, tranquilizers, anti-anxiety medications. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include persistent dizziness.

NOTES: Medical tests and blood pressure checks will be done while using this medication to monitor its effects and to prevent side effects.

MISSED DOSE: It is important that each dose be used as scheduled along with the anticancer medication. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor who will help establish a new dose schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.

STORAGE: Store the powder medication vial in the refrigerator between 36 and 46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C) as directed. Once the saline solution is added to the powder, consult your pharmacist for proper storage, handling, and disposal of the drug.

MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

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