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porfimer (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using porfimer (Photofrin)?

Do not take porfimer if you have porphyria.

Porfimer is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is unknown whether it will harm an unborn baby. Do not use porfimer without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether porfimer passes into breast milk. Do not take porfimer without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use porfimer (Photofrin)?

Porfimer should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Your doctor will determine the correct amount and frequency of treatment with porfimer depending upon the type of cancer being treated and other factors. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the treatment schedule.

After porfimer has been administered, exposure to sunlight or bright indoor light (examination lamps, dental lights, operating room lamps, tanning beds, or very close unshaded light bulbs) must be avoided for at least 30 days. Sensitivity may last for 90 days or more. Exposure to normal indoor light is good, as this helps the body to eliminate porfimer. Therefore, do not stay in darkened rooms. Before exposing any area of skin to direct sunlight or bright indoor light, test for sensitivity by exposing a small area of skin to sunlight for 10 minutes. If there is no reaction (such as redness, blistering or swelling) within 24 hours, you can gradually increase your sun exposure time. If a reaction does occur, wait another 2 weeks before testing again. Do not use the face or skin around the eyes as a test area. If you travel to a place that has more sunlight, you should retest with the 10 minute exposure procedure. Sun screens will not prevent a reaction. Sun screens stop UV (invisible) light, while porfimer makes the skin sensitive to visible light

Your healthcare provider will store porfimer as directed by the manufacturer.

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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