This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
- Infusion reactions are common with this drug. Sometimes, these can be severe. Infusion reactions that needed medical attention right away included allergic reactions, low blood pressure, trouble breathing, or the heart stopped working. Tell your doctor right away if you have rash; hives; itching; flushing; swelling of your face, eyes, lips, mouth, or tongue; cough; wheezing or other trouble breathing; noisy, high-pitched breathing; dizziness or passing out; or any other effects during the infusion.
- Nervous system problems are common with this drug. Sometimes, these can be severe. Call your doctor right away if you have any new or worsening bladder problems like trouble passing urine or controlling bladder; trouble controlling bowels; an abnormal burning, numbness, or tingling feeling; weakness in arms or legs; change in eyesight; change in pupil size; trouble focusing your eyes; or light bothers your eyes.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly brain problem called posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) has happened with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have signs like feeling confused, lowered alertness, change in eyesight, loss of eyesight, seizures, or very bad headache.
- Other drugs will be given with this drug to help avoid side effects.
- It is used to treat neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system.
- If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this drug or for 2 months after your last dose.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- High blood pressure has happened with this drug. Have your blood pressure checked as you have been told by your doctor.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor. This drug may lower blood sugar. High blood sugar drugs may need to be changed.
- This drug may cause harm to an unborn baby. A pregnancy test will be done before you start this drug to show that you are NOT pregnant.
- If you may become pregnant, you must use birth control while taking this drug and for some time after the last dose. Ask your doctor how long to use birth control. If you get pregnant, call your doctor right away.
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Signs of electrolyte problems like mood changes; confusion; muscle pain, cramps, or spasms; weakness; shakiness; change in balance; an abnormal heartbeat; seizures; loss of appetite; or severe upset stomach or throwing up.
- Signs of low blood sugar like dizziness, headache, feeling sleepy, feeling weak, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, hunger, or sweating.
- Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
- Feeling irritable.
- Low blood cell counts have happened with this drug. If blood cell counts get very low, this can lead to bleeding problems, infections, or anemia. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; or if you feel very tired or weak.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Arm, back, leg, bone, neck, or stomach pain.
- Constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach, throwing up, or decreased appetite.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Weight loss.
- Signs of a common cold.
- Flu-like signs.
- Sweating a lot.
- Irritation where this drug is given.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
- If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
© 2023 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.