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. You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
This medicine is available only through a special program. Doctors, pharmacies, and patients must meet all of the conditions of the program. Your health care provider will help you get signed up with the program if you need this medicine. Through the program you will only receive up to a 28 day supply of the medicine at one time. You will need a new prescription for each refill.
This medicine can cause birth defects. Do not get pregnant while taking this drug. Females with child-bearing potential will need to have 2 negative pregnancy tests before starting this medicine. Pregnancy testing must be done every 2 to 4 weeks as directed while taking this medicine. Use 2 reliable forms of birth control together while you are taking this medicine and for 4 weeks after you stop taking this medicine. If you think that you might be pregnant talk to your doctor right away.
Men must use a latex condom during sexual contact with a woman while taking this medicine and for 4 weeks after you stop taking this medicine. A latex condom is needed even if you have had a vasectomy. Contact your doctor right away if your partner becomes pregnant. Do not donate sperm while taking this medicine and for 4 weeks after you stop taking this medicine.
Do not give blood while taking the medicine and for 1 month after completion of treatment to avoid exposing pregnant women to the medicine through the donated blood.
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.
If you smoke, tell your doctor if you notice this medicine is not working well for you. Talk to your doctor if you are a smoker or if you decide to stop smoking.
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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Black, tarry stools
bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
blood in the urine or stools
body aches or pain
burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
decreased or increased urination
difficult, burning, or painful urination
difficulty with breathing
fast or irregular heartbeat
feeling sad or empty
frequent urge to urinate
lack of appetite
loss of appetite
loss of interest or pleasure
loss of voice
lower back or side pain
muscle pain or cramps
numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
pinpoint red spots on the skin
rapid weight gain
shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
tightness in the chest
trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
troubled breathing with exertion
ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
unsteadiness or awkwardness
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual weight gain or loss
weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
dizziness or lightheadedness
pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg
Incidence not known
Difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
weakness or heaviness of the legs
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:
difficulty with moving
flushed, dry skin
fruit-like breath odor
lack or loss of strength
muscle spasms or stiffness
Incidence not known
Feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
sensation of spinning
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.