Zanosar belongs to the group of medicines known as alkylating agents. It is used to treat cancer of the pancreas.
Zanosar seems to interfere with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed. It also directly affects the way the pancreas works.
Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by Zanosar, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Other effects may not be serious but may cause concern. Some effects may not occur for months or years after the medicine is used.
Before you begin treatment with streptozocin, you and your doctor should talk about the good this medicine will do as well as the risks of using it.
Zanosar is to be given only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor. This product is available in the following dosage forms:
Before using Zanosar, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. This is a decision you and your doctor will make.
For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Allergies: Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Pediatric Population: There is no specific information comparing the use of streptozocin in children with use in other age groups.
Geriatric Population: Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing the use of streptozocin in the elderly with use in other age groups.
Pregnancy: All Trimesters: Category D: Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease may outweigh the potential risk.
Breastfeeding: There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Drug Interactions: Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose or other precautions may be necessary.
When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Other Interactions: Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems: The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine.
Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Infection—Streptozocin can decrease your body's ability to fight infection
Liver disease—Effects of streptozocin may be increased because of slower removal from the body
3 Proper Usage
To use Zanosar properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. While you are receiving Zanosar, your doctor may want you to drink extra fluids so that you will pass more urine. This will help prevent kidney problems and keep your kidneys working well.
This medicine usually causes nausea and vomiting, which may be severe. However, it is very important that you continue to receive the medicine, even if you begin to feel ill. Ask your health care professional for ways to lessen these effects.
Dosing: The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
4 Precautions to Take
Before using Zanosar, there are some precautions you must take. It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for any unwanted effects.
While you are being treated with streptozocin, and after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval. Streptozocin may lower your body's resistance and there is a chance you might get the infection the immunization is meant to prevent.
In addition, other people living in your household should not take oral polio vaccine since there is a chance they could pass the polio virus on to you. Also, avoid persons who have recently taken oral polio vaccine.
Do not get close to them and do not stay in the same room with them for very long. If you cannot take these precautions, you should consider wearing a protective face mask that covers the nose and mouth.
If streptozocin accidentally seeps out of the vein into which it is injected, it may damage some tissues and cause scarring. Tell the health care professional right away if you notice redness, pain, or swelling at the place of injection.
As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Zanosar. Also, because of the way these medicines act on the body, there is a chance that they might cause other unwanted effects that may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used.
These delayed effects may include certain types of cancer, such as leukemia. Streptozocin has been shown to cause tumors (some cancerous) in animals. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.
Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
swelling of feet or lower legs
the unusual decrease in urination
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
After you stop using this medicine, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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