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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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Common and Rare Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Chest pain

chills

cough or hoarseness

fever

lower back or side pain

painful or difficult urination

shortness of breath

sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth

swollen glands

unusual bleeding or bruising

unusual tiredness or weakness

Incidence not known

Abdominal or stomach pain

absent, missed, or irregular menstrual periods

back or leg pains

bleeding gums

bloated abdomen or stomach

blurred vision

clay-colored stools

confusion

dark urine

difficult or labored breathing

difficulty with swallowing

dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position

fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse

general body swelling

headache

hives, itching, or rash

indigestion

light-colored stools

loss of appetite

nausea and vomiting

noisy breathing

nosebleeds

pain and fullness in right upper abdomen or stomach

pale skin

puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue

reddening of the skin, especially around the ears

sore throat

sweating

swelling of eyes, face, hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs

tightness in the chest

unpleasant breath odor

unusual lumps or masses

vomiting of blood

weight gain or loss

yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common

Indigestion

passing of gas

stomach fullness

Incidence not known

Blue-green to black skin discoloration

hair loss or thinning of the hair

pain, redness, soreness, or sloughing of the skin at the injection site

sores, welting, or blisters

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

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

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