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.
- It is used to treat a type of skin cancer (melanoma).
- 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 or have ever had any of these health problems: A weak immune system or a disease that may cause a weak immune system like leukemia, lymphoma, HIV, or AIDS.
- If you are taking any drugs that suppress your immune system. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not use this drug if you are pregnant.
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.
- Keep the treated area covered with an airtight and watertight dressing for at least 1 week after each treatment. Leave covered for longer if the area is weeping or oozing. If the dressing falls off, put on a clean dressing right away.
- You will need to take special care when handling and throwing away used dressings, gloves, and cleaning supplies. Throw them away in household waste in a sealed plastic bag. Check with the doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about how to handle them.
- Do not allow pregnant women, newborns, or close contacts like household members, caregivers, sex partners, or someone who shares the same bed to have direct contact with the treated area or dressings. Do not let them come into contact with body fluids. Use a condom if having sex. Avoid kissing if either person has an open mouth sore.
- Wear gloves while putting on or changing dressings.
- Pregnant women or someone who has a weak immune system must not change dressings or clean where this drug was given.
- If anyone else comes into contact with this drug, the treated area, dressings, or body fluids, have them wash well with soap and water or a disinfectant. If signs of an infection occur, talk with the doctor.
- Do not touch or scratch the treated area. You may spread this drug to other parts of the body.
- This drug may cause harm to an unborn baby. Women must use birth control while taking this drug. If you get pregnant, call your doctor right away.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
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 kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Shortness of breath.
- Chest pain.
- White patches on the skin.
- Irritation has happened where this drug was given. Rarely, tissue damage has happened. Tell your nurse if you have any burning, color changes, pain, skin breakdown, or swelling where this drug was given.
- Herpes infections have happened with this drug. This includes cold sores. Call your doctor if you or a close contact have signs of a herpes infection like arm or leg weakness, blurred eyesight, eye pain or discharge, confusion, feeling sleepy, or if light bothers your eyes. Call the doctor if you or a close contact have pain, burning, or tingling in a blister around the mouth or genitals, on the fingers, or in the ears.
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:
- Feeling dizzy, tired, or weak.
- Fever or chills.
- Flu-like signs.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Stomach pain.
- Pain in arms or legs.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Mouth or throat pain or irritation.
- Weight loss.
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 a shot.
- 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.
- This drug comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time this drug is refilled. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- 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.
- 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.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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