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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Ganite

Generic Name: gallium nitrate (Pronunciation: GAL ee um NYE trate)

What is gallium nitrate (Ganite)?

Gallium nitrate is a form of nitrate salt.

Gallium nitrate is used to lower blood levels of calcium when they have become dangerously high in cancer patients.

Gallium nitrate may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of gallium nitrate (Ganite)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers right away if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • increased thirst, swelling in your lower legs;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;
  • blurred vision, headache or pain behind your eyes;
  • confusion, hallucinations;
  • noisy breathing, feeling short of breath;

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;
  • tired feeling;
  • feeling hot or cold;
  • numbness or tingling; or
  • fast heart rate.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about gallium nitrate (Ganite)?

Before receiving gallium nitrate, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, if you have heart disease, or if you take diuretics (water pills). If you have any of these conditions, you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

Many other drugs can damage the kidneys and should not be used together with gallium nitrate. Tell your doctor if you are receiving chemotherapy, taking an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) pain medicine, or using medicines used to treat a bowel disorder, medications to prevent organ transplant rejection, antiviral medications, or any injected antibiotics.

Gallium nitrate must be given as an IV infusion around the clock for up to 5 days, or until blood calcium levels are lowered to a safe level.

During your treatment with gallium nitrate, you may also need to be put on IV fluids to keep you from getting dehydrated.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood and urine will need to be tested often. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with gallium nitrate.

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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