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AMIFOSTINE is a protective medicine. It is used to prevent or lessen the kidney damage that can be caused by cisplatin chemotherapy. It is also used to prevent some side effects caused by radiation therapy to the head or neck. Compare chemoprotectants.
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What is Amifostine?

Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Ethyol

Therapeutic ClassificationsCytoprotective Agent

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OverviewTOP

Amifostine is used to help prevent or lessen some of the side effects on the kidneys and salivary glands that are caused by cisplatin (a cancer medicine) or radiation therapy.

Amifostine is to be given only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although this use is not included in the product labeling, amifostine is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:

Proper UseTOP

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital or cancer treatment center. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

This medicine is given before cisplatin therapy or radiation therapy. You may also receive other medicines to help prevent nausea and vomiting.

Drink plenty of fluids during the 24 hours before receiving amifostine.

Before UsingTOP

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

AllergiesTOP

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

PediatricTOP

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of amifostine in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

GeriatricTOP

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of amifostine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related heart, liver, or kidney disease, which may require an adjustment of dose in patients receiving amifostine.

PregnancyTOP

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast FeedingTOP

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug InteractionsTOP

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Adenovirus Vaccine
  • Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin Vaccine, Live
  • Cholera Vaccine, Live
  • Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Live
  • Smallpox Vaccine
  • Typhoid Vaccine
  • Yellow Fever Vaccine

Other InteractionsTOP

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical ProblemsTOP

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

PrecautionsTOP

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to allow for changes in your dose. Blood tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.

Low blood pressure (hypotension) may occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms: blurred vision; confusion; severe dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly; sweating; or unusual tiredness or weakness.

Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have a rash on the lips or mouth; red skin lesions on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet; sores or ulcers on the skin; or fever or chills while you are receiving this medicine.

This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; trouble breathing; any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth; or chest pain after you receive this medicine.

This medicine may cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.

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