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Melphalan

Melphalan

Uses

This medication is used to treat certain types of cancer (such as multiple myeloma, ovarian). Melphalan belongs to a class of drugs known as alkylating agents. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

How to use Melphalan Tablet

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once a day. Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, drink plenty of fluids to help prevent side effects.

The dosage and treatment schedule are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Carefully follow your doctor's directions for taking this medication.

Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of serious side effects will increase.

It may take several months before you see a benefit from this drug.

Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Melphalan is used to treat multiple myeloma (a type of cancer of the bone marrow). Melphalan is also used to treat a certain type of ovarian cancer (cancer that begins in the female reproductive organs where eggs are formed). Melphalan is in a class of medications called alkylating agents. It works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells in your body.

Melphalan Dosage

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Oral melphalan is a tablet you take by mouth. Injectable melphalan is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Your doctor will perform blood tests to make sure you do not have conditions that would prevent you from safely using melphalan.

Melphalan can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood may need to be tested often.

Store melphalan tablets in the refrigerator and protect them from light.

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

How should this medicine be used?

Melphalan comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken on an empty stomach once a day. The length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have. Take melphalan at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take melphalan exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor may need to delay your treatment or adjust your dose of melphalan depending on your response to treatment and any side effects that you experience. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment. Do not stop taking melphalan without talking to your doctor.

Treating Side Effects

Mouth care is very important. Your mouth care should consist of routine, gentle cleaning of your teeth or dentures and rinsing your mouth with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water or 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water. This should be done at least after each meal and at bedtime.

Avoid mouthwash that has alcohol. Avoid alcohol and smoking because they can bother your mouth and throat.

Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine to help stop or lessen nausea and throwing up.

While you are getting this drug in your vein, tell your nurse right away if you experience any pain, redness, or swelling at the site of the IV

Drink 6-8 cups of fluids every day unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack of water in the body due to losing too much fluid).

If you get a rash, do not put anything on it unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry. Ask your doctor for medicine if your rash bothers you.

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