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dactinomycin (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving dactinomycin (Cosmegen)?

You should not receive dactinomycin if you are allergic to it, or if you have recently had chickenpox or herpes zoster (shingles).

To make sure you can safely take dactinomycin, tell your doctor if you have recently received radiation treatment for Wilms' tumor.

Using dactinomycin may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use dactinomycin if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether dactinomycin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using dactinomycin.

How should I use dactinomycin (Cosmegen)?

Dactinomycin is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Dactinomycin is usually given only on certain days during a treatment cycle. How often you receive this medication depends on the condition being treated.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when dactinomycin is injected.

Dactinomycin can be harmful if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If skin contact occurs, rinse with plain water for at least 15 minutes.

Dactinomycin can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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