Dactinomycin is a highly toxic chemotherapeutic agent that should only be administered by an experienced physician. Healthcare professionals who are administering this medication should avoid skin contact or inhalation of vapors.
This medication is used in the treatment of different cancers including those of the bone, testicles, and soft tissue. It is also prescribed for patients who have tumors.
It’s mechanism of action basically involves preventing cancer cell growth, which leads to its destruction. It can also damage normal body cells, which is why, as mentioned earlier, it must only be administered by or under the direct supervision of a physician.
Although it is not included in the drug labels, Dactinomycin can also be used in the treatment of Kaposi's sarcoma and Osteosarcoma.
It is usually available in powder form for reconstitution.
2 What to Know Before Using
Discuss with your physician the risks and benefits of using dactinomycin before starting treatment. You and your doctor need to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons. You need to inform your healthcare team of any allergies you have to food dyes, animals, and/or preservatives.
Studies have shown that the safety and efficacy of this medication in children ages 12 months and older is not affected by any age-related factor.
Although this also holds true for geriatric patients, elderly people are more at risk of developing bone marrow issues. Therefore, Dactinomycin must be used with caution in geriatric patients.
Studies have shown that this medication has a pregnancy category D in all trimesters. This means that there is evidence that using Dactinomycin can harm the unborn child.
Studies on nursing mothers have not been conducted. If you are breastfeeding, you need to talk with your physician about the risks and benefits.
This drug also interacts with other medications. You also need to inform your physician about any medication you are taking. You should not get a live rotavirus vaccine while on Dactinomycin.
Avoid getting live vaccinations in general. Using Dasabuvir during treatment with this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor about foods you need to avoid, as well as alcohol consumption and tobacco use.
Preexisting medical conditions also need to be considered. Dactinomycin may exacerbate certain conditions.
Again, dactinomycin is a highly toxic medication and should be handled and administered with caution. It is to be administered by an experienced physician or nurse.
It is given intravenously and never orally. If you are taking other medications while on Dactinomycin treatment, follow the proper timing and dosage of each medication.
Common side effects of this drug are nausea and vomiting. You need to keep getting treated despite these discomforts. You can consult your physicians for ways to decrease the effects. Contact with the skin or any mucous membranes can be harmful.
Dactinomycin can also damage the lungs and throat. If you get the powder or solution on your skin, call your doctor right away and wash the area for 15 minutes.
If it gets into your eye, rinse it with normal saline or water for 15 minutes. Inform your physician immediately.
Clothes that have come into contact with Dactinomycin should be removed and burned.
4 Precautions To Take
Your doctor needs to monitor your condition closely while you are on dactinomycin treatment. Necessary laboratory tests may be ordered to make sure that this medication is working properly and to prevent side effects.
Avoid getting pregnant while getting dactinomycin. Use effective birth control methods. Inform your physician if you think you are pregnant.
Since this medication can decrease your body’s resistance, you should avoid contact with people who have infections. You can use a face mask that covers your nose and mouth if necessary.
You should not receive live vaccinations during and after your treatment. Avoid recently vaccinated individuals as well.
Dactinomycin also puts you at a higher risk of bleeding since it decreases your platelet count. Avoid strenuous activities and contact sports. Practice caution when using sharp objects like razors. Use toothbrushes with soft bristles to prevent gum bleeding, and inform your dentist about your Dactinomycin treatment before getting any dental work done.
Watch out for signs and symptoms of bleeding which include:
Blood in the urine or stools
And/or pinpoint red spots on your skin
Call your physician immediately if you experience any of these: If you notice any pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site. You should inform your healthcare professional right away.
Consult your doctor if you have diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and/or white patches or sores on your lips, mouth or throat as well.
5 Potential Side Effects
Dactinomycin can cause several side effects. Signs and symptoms that need medical attention right away include:
Coughing or hoarseness accompanied by fever or chills
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