Denileukin Diftitox (Intravenous Route)

1 Denileukin Diftitox (Intravenous Route): A Summary

Brand Name:

Ontak

Denileukin diftitox is an antineoplastic agent used for the treatment of persistent or recurrent cutaneous T-cell lymphoma which causes lesions in the skin. This drug is an immunotoxin that interferes with the growth of cancer cells. 

Other effects may also occur since the growth of normal cells may also be affected by this drug. This drug is to be administered only by or under the supervision of your healthcare professional.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before taking this drug, the risks and benefits for your body should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. 

Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications. Studies regarding the relationship of age to the effects of denileukin diftitox have not been performed while safety and efficacy have not been established. Problems in the elderly are not expected to limit the utility of denileukin diftitox. Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding. 

Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits before taking this drug while breastfeeding. Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects. 

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription and nonprescription drugs. Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. 

Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco. Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as Heart disease.

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3 Proper Usage

Discuss with your healthcare professional about all the possible risks and benefits of cancer drugs. A trained healthcare professional will be the only one to give you this drug in a hospital or cancer treatment center. This drug is administered intravenously through a needle placed in one of your veins. 

The drug must be injected slowly, so your IV tube will need to stay in place for 30 to 60 minutes. This drug is usually given every day for 5 days. This 5-day treatment is given again every 21 days for several months, or until your body responds to the drug. This drug needs to be given on a fixed schedule. Call your healthcare professional for instructions if you miss a dose.

4 Precautions to Take

Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug. Unwanted effects can be screened by blood tests. Inform your healthcare professional if you have symptoms of infusion reaction such as:

  • fever
  • chills
  • breathing problems
  • chest pain
  • fast or pounding heartbeat
  • hives, or rash after you receive the injection

Check with your healthcare professional if you have symptoms of capillary leak such as:

  • dizziness
  • faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
  • rapid weight gain
  • swelling of hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs

Seek immediate medical attention if you have any vision changes while you are using this drug. You may be referred to an ophthalmologist to have your eyes checked.

5 Potential Side Effects

Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug. Unwanted effects can be screened by blood tests. Inform your healthcare professional if you have symptoms of infusion reaction such as:

  • chills
  • breathing problems
  • fast or pounding heartbeat
  • hives, or rash after you receive the injection

Check with your healthcare professional if you have symptoms of capillary leak such as:

  • faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
  • rapid weight gain
  • swelling of hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs

Seek immediate medical attention if you have any vision changes while you are using this drug. You may be referred to an ophthalmologist to have your eyes checked.

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