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MELPHALAN is a chemotherapy drug. This medicine is used to treat multiple myeloma. It is also used prior to a stem cell transplant in patients with multiple myeloma. Compare alkylating drugs.
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Melphalan Side Effects

What should I watch for?

This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.

In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.

Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.

You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.

Talk to your doctor about your risk of cancer. You may be more at risk for certain types of cancers if you take this medicine.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine or for a while after stopping it. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. Men should not father a child while taking this medicine and for a while after stopping it. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.

This medicine has caused ovarian failure in some women. This medicine may interfere with the ability to have a child. This medicine has caused reduced sperm counts in some men. This may interfere with the ability to father a child. You should talk with your doctor or health care professional if you are concerned about your fertility.

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Side Effects to watch for

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • blurred vision
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • low blood counts - this medicine may decrease the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk for infections and bleeding.
  • missed menstrual periods
  • mouth sores
  • nausea, vomiting
  • signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
  • signs of decreased platelets or bleeding - bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine
  • signs of decreased red blood cells - unusually weak or tired, fainting spells, lightheadedness
  • signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • weight loss

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

What may interact with this drug?

Do not take this medicine with the following medication:

  • nalidixic acid

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

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