Nipent

1 What is Nipent?

Brand: Nipent

Generic: Pentostatin

Nipent is an antimetabolite used for the treatment of hairy cell leukemia. This drug interferes with the growth of cancer cells.

The growth of normal body cells may also be affected by this drug resulting in other effects. This drug is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your healthcare professional.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Nipent, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. 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 in children regarding the correlation of age to the effects of pentostatin have not been performed while safety and efficacy have not been established. Data regarding the correlation of age to the effects of pentostatin in geriatric patients are still unavailable.

Risks to the fetus have to be reported in studies of pregnant women but these may be outweighed by the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk. Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding.

Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits of 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 drugs such as:

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 doctor if you have any other medical problems such as:

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3 Proper Usage

To use Nipent properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Nausea and vomiting have associated with the use of this drug. It is recommended to continue to receive the drug even if you begin to feel ill. Ask your health care professional for ways to lessen these effects.

You will receive this drug while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A trained healthcare professional will be the only one to give you this drug. This drug is administered intravenously through a needle placed in one of your veins.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Nipent, there are some precautions you must 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 using blood tests.

This drug has teratogenic potential and it is recommended to use effective forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy during treatment.

Inform your healthcare professional immediately if you think you have become pregnant while using this drug.

This drug must not be used together with fludarabine (FludaraВ®) as this may increase the chance of serious side effects. Check with your healthcare professional before having any immunizations while you are being treated with pentostatin, and after you stop treatment with it as you might get the infection the immunization is meant to prevent.

Avoid any form of contact with people who have taken oral polio vaccine. Wear a protective face mask that covers the nose and mouth if you cannot take these precautions. This drug can cause leukopenia and thrombocytopenia which can increase the risk of infection or bleeding.

It is recommended to avoid people with infections. Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination, unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin. Use a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick with care.

Other ways to clean your teeth and gums may be advised by your healthcare professional. Check with your healthcare professional before having any dental work done. It is recommended to avoid touching your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.

Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters. It is recommended to limit yourself from contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury can happen. Check with your healthcare professional as soon as possible if you develop a skin rash or any allergic reaction to this drug.

Consult with your healthcare professional before taking any other prescription or nonprescription drugs, and herbal or vitamin supplements.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Nipent. Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur. Delayed effects such as cancers can occur after months or years after your last dose.

Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as:

  • A cough or hoarseness
  • Fever or chills
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Pain
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Blood in the urine or stools
  • Changes in vision
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Cramps in lower legs
  • Mental depression
  • Nosebleed
  • Numbness or tingling of the hands or feet
  • Pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleepiness
  • Sore
  • Red eyes sore in the mouth or on the lips
  • Stomach pain
  • Swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • Trouble with sleeping
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the drug, the side effects will slowly disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

If any of the following side effects persists or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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