Drugs Details

Drugs Info of Hexalen
Drugs Details
  • Drugs Type  : Multum
  • Date : 3rd Jan 2015 12:26 am
  • Brand Name : Hexalen
  • Generic Name :  altretamine (Pronunciation: all TREH tah mean)
Descriptions

HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules, is a synthetic cytotoxic antineoplastic s-triazine derivative. HEXALEN® capsules contain 50 mg of altretamine for oral administration. Inert ingredients include lactose, anhydrous and calcium stearate. Altretamine, known chemically as N,N,N',N',N“,N”-hexamethyl-1,3,5-triazine-2,4,6-triamine, has the following structural formula:

 

HEXALEN® (altretamine)  Structural Formula Illustration

Its empirical formula is C9H18N6 with a molecular weight of 210.28. Altretamine is a white crystalline powder, melting at 172°± 1°C. Altretamine is practically insoluble in water but is increasingly soluble at pH 3 and below.

What are the possible side effects of altretamine (Hexalen)?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (shortness of breath; closing of your throat; difficulty breathing; swelling of your lips, face, or tongue; or hives);
  • decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; or fever, chills, or signs of infection);
  • pain, tremors, tingling, burning, or prickling in hands or feet;
  • mood changes;
  • severe drowsiness or loss of...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Hexalen »

What are the precautions when taking altretamine (Hexalen)?

Before taking altretamine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, brain/nerve disorders, blood/bone marrow disorders (e.g., low levels of platelets/white blood cells/red blood cells).

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.

To lower your risk of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with...

Read All Potential Precautions of Hexalen »


This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Indications

HEXALEN (altretamine) ® (altretamine) capsules is indicated for use as a single agent in the palliative treatment of patients with persistent or recurrent ovarian cancer following first-line therapy with a cisplatin and/or alkylating agent-based combination.

Dosage Administration

HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules is administered orally. Doses are calculated on the basis of body surface area.

HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules may be administered either for 14 or 21 consecutive days in a 28 day cycle at a dose of 260 mg/m²/day. The total daily dose should be given as 4 divided oral doses after meals and at bedtime. There is no pharmacokinetic information supporting this dosing regimen and the effect of food on HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules bioavailability or pharmacokinetics has not been evaluated.

HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules should be temporarily discontinued (for 14 days or longer) and subsequently restarted at 200 mg/m²/day for any of the following situations:

  1. Gastrointestinal intolerance unresponsive to symptomatic measures;
  2. White blood count <2000/mm³or granulocyte count <1000/mm³;
  3. Platelet count <75,000/mm³;
  4. Progressive neurotoxicity.

If neurologic symptoms fail to stabilize on the reduced dose schedule, HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules should be discontinued indefinitely.

Procedures for proper handling and disposal of anticancer drugs should be considered. Several guidelines on this subject have been published (2-9). There is no general agreement that all of the procedures recommended in the guidelines are necessary or appropriate.

How Supplied

HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules is available in 50 mg clear, hard gelatin capsules imprinted with the following inscription:

USB 001.
Bottles of 100 capsules
(NDC 58063-001-70)

Store up to 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15° to 30°C (59° to 86°F).

REFERENCES

1. Wiernik PH, et al. Hexamethylmelamine and Low or Moderate Dose Cisplatin With or Without Pyridoxine for Treatment of Advanced Ovarian Carcinoma: A Study of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. Cancer Invest. 1992; 10(1): 1-9.

2. ONS Clinical Practice Committee. Cancer Chemotherapy Guidelines and Recommendations for Practice. Pittsburgh, Pa: Oncology Nursing Society; 1999:32-41.

3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Recommendations for the Safe Handling of Parenteral Antineoplastic Drugs. Washington DC: Division of Safety, National Institutes of Health; 1983 Public Health Service publication NIH 83-2621.

4. AMA Council on Scientific Affairs. Guidelines for Handling Parenteral Antineoplastics. JAMA. 1985; 253:1590-1591.

5. National Study Commission on Cytotoxic Exposure. Recommendations for Handling Cytotoxic Agents. Boston, MA: Available from Louis P. Jeffrey, Chairman, National Study Commission on Cytotoxic Exposure, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences, 179 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115; 1987.

6. Clinical Oncological Society of Australia: Guidelines and Recommendations for Safe Handling of Antineoplastic Agents. Med J Australia. 1983;1:426-428.

7. Jones RB, Frank R, Mass T. Safe Handling of Chemotherapeutic Agents: A Report from the Mount Sinai Medical Center. CA Cancer J Clin. 1983;33:258-263.

8. American Society of Hospital Pharmacists. ASHP Technical Assistance Bulletin on Handling Cytotoxic and Hazardous Drugs. Am J of Hosp Pharm. 1990; 47:1033-1049.

9. OSHA Work Practice Guidelines. Controlling Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Drugs. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 1996;53:1669-1685

HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules is a registered trademark of MGI PHARMA, INC., Manufactured by: AAI Development Services, An aaiPharma® Company, 1726 North 23rd St. Wilmington, North Carolina 28405. Manufactured for: MGI PHARMA, INC. Bloomington, Minnesota 55437. For Medical Inquiries call: 1-800-562-5580. Revision Date November, 2003. FDA revision date: 7/11/2001


This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Side Effects

Gastrointestinal

With continuous high-dose daily HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules, nausea and vomiting of gradual onset occur frequently. Although in most instances these symptoms are controllable with anti-emetics, at times the severity requires HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules dose reduction or, rarely, discontinuation of HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules therapy. In some instances, a tolerance of these symptoms develops after several weeks of therapy. The incidence and severity of nausea and vomiting are reduced with moderate-dose administration of HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules. In 2 clinical studies of single-agent HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules utilizing a moderate, intermittent dose and schedule, only 1 patient (1%) discontinued HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules due to severe nausea and vomiting.

Neurotoxicity

Peripheral neuropathy and central nervous system symptoms (mood disorders, disorders of consciousness, ataxia, dizziness, vertigo) have been reported. They are more likely to occur in patients receiving continuous high-dose daily HEXALEN (altretamine) ® (altretamine) capsules than moderate-dose HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules administered on an intermittent schedule. Neurologic toxicity has been reported to be reversible when therapy is discontinued. Data from a randomized trial of HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules and cisplatin plus or minus pyridoxine in ovarian cancer indicated that pyridoxine significantly reduced neurotoxicity; however, it adversely affected response duration suggesting that pyridoxine should not be administered with HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules and/or cisplatin (1).

Hematologic

HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules causes mild to moderate dose-related myelosuppression. Leukopenia below 3000 WBC/mm³occurred in <15% of patients on a variety of intermittent or continuous dose regimens. Less than 1% had leukopenia below 1000 WBC/mm³. Thrombocytopenia below 50,000 platelets/mm³was seen in <10% of patients. When given in doses of 8-12 mg/kg/day over a 21 day course, nadirs of leukocyte and platelet counts were reached by 3-4 weeks, and normal counts were regained by 6 weeks. With continuous administration at doses of 6-8 mg/kg/day, nadirs are reached in 6-8 weeks (median).

Data in the following table are based on the experience of 76 patients with ovarian cancer previously treated with a cisplatin-based combination regimen who received single-agent HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules. In one study, HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules, 260 mg/m²/day, was administered for 14 days of a 28 day cycle. In another study, HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules, 6-8 mg/kg/day, was administered for 21 days of a 28 day cycle.

ADVERSE EXPERIENCES IN 76 PREVIOUSLY TREATED OVARIAN CANCER PATIENTS RECEIVING SINGLE-AGENT HEXALEN® (altretamine) CAPSULES

Adverse Experiences %Patients
Gastrointestinal
Nausea and Vomiting 33  
  Mild to Moderate   32
  Severe   1
Increased Alkaline Phosphatase 9  
Neurologic
Peripheral Sensory Neuropathy 31  
  Mild   22
  Moderate to Servere   9
Anorexia and Fatigue 1  
Seizures 1  
Hematologic
Leukopenia 5  
  WBC 2000-2999/mm³   4
  WBC<2000/mm³   1
Thrombocytopenia 9  
  Platelets 75,000-99,000/mm³   6
  Platelets <75,000mm³   3
Anemia 33  
  Mild   20
  Moderate to Severe   13
Renal
Serum Cretinine 1.6-3.75mg/dl 7  
BUN 9  
  25-40mg%   5
  41-60mg%   3
  >60mg%   1

Additional adverse reaction information is available from 13 single-agent altretamine studies (total of 1014 patients) conducted under the auspices of the National Cancer Institute. The treated patients had a variety of tumors and many were heavily pretreated with other chemotherapies; most of these trials utilized high, continuous daily doses of altretamine (612 mg/kg/day). In general, adverse reaction experiences were similar in the two trials described above. Additional toxicities, not reported in the above table, included hepatic toxicity, skin rash, pruritus and alopecia, each occurring in <1% of patients.

Read the Hexalen (altretamine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

Interactions

Concurrent administration of HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules and antidepressants of the MAO inhibitor class may cause severe orthostatic hypotension (see WARNINGS section). Cimetidine, an inhibitor of microsomal drug metabolism, increased altretamine's half-life and toxicity in a rat model.

Data from a randomized trial of HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules and cisplatin plus or minus pyridoxine in ovarian cancer indicated that pyridoxine significantly reduced neurotoxicity; however, it adversely affected response duration suggesting that pyridoxine should not be administered with HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules and/or cisplatin (1).

REFERENCES

1.Wiernik PH, et al. Hexamethylmelamine and Low or Moderate Dose Cisplatin With or Without Pyridoxine for Treatment of Advanced Ovarian Carcinoma: A Study of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. Cancer Invest. 1992; 10(1): 1-9.

Read the Hexalen Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

Learn More »


This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Warnings

See BOXED WARNINGS.

Concurrent administration of HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules and antidepressants of the monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor class may cause severe orthostatic hypotension. Four patients, all over 60 years of age, were reported to have experienced symptomatic hypotension after 4 to 7 days of concomitant therapy with HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules and MAO inhibitors.

HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules causes mild to moderate myelosuppression and neurotoxicity. Blood counts and a neurologic examination should be performed prior to the initiation of each course of therapy and the dose of HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules adjusted as clinically indicated (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Pregnancy: Category D

HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules has been shown to be embryotoxic and teratogenic in rats and rabbits when given at doses 2 and 10 times the human dose. HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules may cause fetal damage when administered to a pregnant woman. If HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking the drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant.

Precautions

General

Neurologic examination should be performed regularly (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Laboratory Tests

Peripheral blood counts should be monitored at least monthly, prior to the initiation of each course of HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules, and as clinically indicated (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis and Impairment of Fertility

The carcinogenic potential of HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules has not been studied in animals, but drugs with similar mechanisms of action have been shown to be carcinogenic. HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules was weakly mutagenic when tested in strain TA100 of Salmonella typhimurium. HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules administered to female rats 14 days prior to breeding through the gestation period had no adverse effect on fertility, but decreased post-natal survival at 120 mg/m²/day and was embryocidal at 240 mg/m²/day. Administration of 120 mg/m²/day HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules to male rats for 60 days prior to mating resulted in testicular atrophy, reduced fertility and a possible dominant lethal mutagenic effect. Male rats treated with HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules at 450 mg/m²/day for 10 days had decreased spermatogenesis, atrophy of testes, seminal vesicles and ventral prostate.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category D: see WARNINGS section.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether altretamine is excreted in human milk. Because there is a possibility of toxicity in nursing infants secondary to HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules treatment of the mother, it is recommended that breast feeding be discontinued if the mother is treated with HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules in children have not been established.

REFERENCES

1.Wiernik PH, et al. Hexamethylmelamine and Low or Moderate Dose Cisplatin With or Without Pyridoxine for Treatment of Advanced Ovarian Carcinoma: A Study of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. Cancer Invest. 1992; 10(1): 1-9.


This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

OverDose

No case of acute overdosage in humans has been described. The oral LD50 dose in rats was 1050 mg/kg and 437 mg/kg in mice.

ContrainDications

HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules is contraindicated in patients who have shown hypersensitivity to it. HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules should not be employed in patients with preexisting severe bone marrow depression or severe neurologic toxicity. HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules has been administered safely, however, to patients heavily pretreated with cisplatin and/or alkylating agents, including patients with preexisting cisplatin neuropathies. Careful monitoring of neurologic function in these patients is essential.


This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Clinical Pharamacology

The precise mechanism by which HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules exerts its cytotoxic effect is unknown, although a number of theoretical possibilities have been studied. Structurally, HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules resembles the alkylating agent triethylenemelamine, yet in vitro tests for alkylating activity of HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules and its metabolites have been negative. HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules has been demonstrated to be efficacious for certain ovarian tumors resistant to classical alkylating agents. Metabolism of altretamine is a requirement for cytotoxicity. Synthetic monohydroxymethylmelamines, and products of altretamine metabolism, in vitro and in vivo, can form covalent adducts with tissue macromolecules including DNA, but the relevance of these reactions to antitumor activity is unknown.

HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules is well-absorbed following oral administration in humans, but undergoes rapid and extensive demethylation in the liver, producing variation in altretamine plasma levels. The principal metabolites are pentamethylmelamine and tetramethylmelamine.

Pharmacokinetic studies were performed in a limited number of patients and should be considered preliminary. After oral administration of HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules to 11 patients with advanced ovarian cancer in doses of 120-300 mg/m², peak plasma levels (as measured by gas-chromatographic assay) were reached between 0.5 and 3 hours, varying from 0.2 to 20.8 mg/l. Half-life of the β-phase of elimination ranged from 4.7 to 10.2 hours. Altretamine and metabolites show binding to plasma proteins. The free fractions of altretamine, pentamethylmelamine and tetramethylmelamine are 6%, 25% and 50%, respectively.

Following oral administration of 14C-ring-labeled altretamine (4 mg/kg), urinary recovery of radioactivity was 61% at 24 hours and 90% at 72 hours. Human urinary metabolites were Ndemethylated homologues of altretamine with <1% unmetabolized altretamine excreted at 24 hours.

After intraperitoneal administration of 14C-ring-labeled altretamine to mice, tissue distribution was rapid in all organs, reaching a maximum at 30 minutes. The excretory organs (liver and kidney) and the small intestine showed high concentrations of radioactivity, whereas relatively low concentrations were found in other organs, including the brain.

There have been no formal pharmacokinetic studies in patients with compromised hepatic and/or renal function, though HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules has been administered both concurrently and following nephrotoxic drugs such as cisplatin.

HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules has been administered in 4 divided doses, with meals and at bedtime, though there is no pharmacokinetic data on this schedule nor information from formal interaction studies about the effect of food on its bioavailability or pharmacokinetics.

In two studies in patients with persistent or recurrent ovarian cancer following first-line treatment with cisplatin and/or alkylating agent-based combinations, HEXALEN® (altretamine) capsules was administered as a single agent for 14 or 21 days of a 28 day cycle. In the 51 patients with measurable or evaluable disease, there were 6 clinical complete responses, 1 pathologic complete response, and 2 partial responses for an overall response rate of 18%. The duration of these responses ranged from 2 months in a patient with a palpable pelvic mass to 36 months in a patient who achieved a pathologic complete response. In some patients, tumor regression was associated with improvement in symptoms and performance status.


This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Patient Information

No information provided. Please refer to the WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS sections.


This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Consumer Overview Uses

IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

 

ALTRETAMINE - ORAL

 

(al-TRET-a-meen)

 

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Hexalen

 

WARNING: Altretamine may cause serious blood disorders (decreased bone marrow function leading to low number of blood cells such as white cells, red cells, and platelets) or nerve/brain disorders. The blood disorders can decrease your body's ability to fight an infection, cause your body to bruise or bleed easier, or cause anemia. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: signs of an infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding, unusual tiredness, fast/pounding heartbeat, numbness/tingling of the arms/legs, mental/mood changes, seizures, loss of coordination, dizziness.

You will be closely monitored (e.g., blood tests such as complete blood count, neurologic exams) by your doctor while using this medication. Keep all medical and laboratory appointments.

 

USES: This medication is used to treat cancer of the ovaries after other treatments have not been successful.

 

HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth, usually 4 times daily (after meals and at bedtime) or as directed by your doctor.

The dosage is based on your body size and response to treatment.

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

Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication

Consumer Overview Side Effect

SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.

Nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, your doctor may reduce your dose or prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Eating several small meals or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Temporary hair loss may rarely occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: change in the amount of urine.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

 

Read the Hexalen (altretamine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

Learn More »

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking altretamine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, brain/nerve disorders, blood/bone marrow disorders (e.g., low levels of platelets/white blood cells/red blood cells).

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.

To lower your risk of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.

Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.

This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Therefore, it is important to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control (e.g., condoms, birth control pills) while taking this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Consumer Overview Missed Dose

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: nalidixic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B6).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine).

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

 

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

 

NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.

Laboratory and/or medical tests should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. (See also Warning section.)

 

MISSED DOSE: For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

 

STORAGE: Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

 

MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

 

Information last revised April 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.

Patient Detailed Side Effect

Brand Names: Hexalen

Generic Name: altretamine (Pronunciation: all TREH tah mean)

  • What is altretamine (Hexalen)?
  • What are the possible side effects of altretamine (Hexalen)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about altretamine (Hexalen)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking altretamine (Hexalen)?
  • How should I take altretamine (Hexalen)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Hexalen)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Hexalen)?
  • What should I avoid while taking altretamine (Hexalen)?
  • What other drugs will affect altretamine (Hexalen)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is altretamine (Hexalen)?

Altretamine is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication. Altretamine interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Altretamine is used to treat cancer of the ovaries.

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

Hexalen

capsule, white, imprinted with USB 001

What are the possible side effects of altretamine (Hexalen)?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (shortness of breath; closing of your throat; difficulty breathing; swelling of your lips, face, or tongue; or hives);
  • decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; or fever, chills, or signs of infection);
  • pain, tremors, tingling, burning, or prickling in hands or feet;
  • mood changes;
  • severe drowsiness or loss of consciousness;
  • loss of coordination, weakness, dizziness, unsteadiness or falling; or
  • severe nausea or vomiting.

Other less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • temporary hair loss;
  • itching or rash; or
  • mild to moderate nausea or vomiting.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Hexalen (altretamine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

Learn More »

What is the most important information I should know about altretamine (Hexalen)?

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

Serious side effects have been reported with the use of altretamine including: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; fever or chills; or signs of infection such as fever; chills, or sore throat); neurologic problems (mood disorders, altered consciousness, weakness, dizziness, vertigo); and others. Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects from treatment with altretamine.

Side Effects Centers
  • Hexalen

Patient Detailed How Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking altretamine (Hexalen)?

Before taking altretamine, tell your doctor if you have:

  • any nervous system (brain and nerves) problems; or
  • bone marrow problems.

You may not be able to take altretamine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Altretamine is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that altretamine is known to cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not take altretamine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Contraceptive measures are recommended during treatment with altretamine.

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

How should I take altretamine (Hexalen)?

Take altretamine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, as your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to explain them to you.

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

Altretamine is usually taken four times a day, after meals and at bedtime.

Take each oral dose with a large glass of water.

Your doctor will probably want you to have regularly scheduled blood tests and other medical evaluations during treatment with altretamine to monitor progress and side effects.

Store altretamine capsules at room temperature away from heat and moisture. Keep this product out of the reach of children.

Side Effects Centers
  • Hexalen

Patient Detailed Avoid Taking

What happens if I miss a dose (Hexalen)?

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of altretamine.

What happens if I overdose (Hexalen)?

If for any reason an overdose of altretamine is suspected, seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Symptoms of an altretamine overdose tend to be similar to side effects caused by the medication, although often more severe.

What should I avoid while taking altretamine (Hexalen)?

Altretamine can lower the activity of your immune system making you susceptible to infections. Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses and do not receive vaccines that contain live strains of a virus (e.g., live oral polio vaccine) during treatment with altretamine. In addition, avoid contact with individuals who have recently been vaccinated with a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus can be passed on to you.

What other drugs will affect altretamine (Hexalen)?

Before taking altretamine, tell your doctor if you are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking one of these medicines.

Before taking altretamine, tell your doctor if you are taking cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB). You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.

Do not receive "live" vaccines during treatment with altretamine. Administration of a live vaccine may be dangerous during treatment with altretamine.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with altretamine. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products, during treatment with altretamine.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist has additional information about altretamine written for health professionals that you may read.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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