Melphalan (By mouth)
Antineoplastic Agent (About this – PubMed Health)
Uses of This Medicine
Melphalan interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by melphalan, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Other effects may not be serious but may cause concern. Some effects may not occur for months or years after the medicine is used.
Before you begin treatment with melphalan, you and your doctor should talk about the good this medicine will do as well as the risks of using it.
Melphalan is available only with your doctor’s prescription.
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 these uses are not included in product labeling, melphalan is used in certain patients with the following conditions:
Cancer of the breast
Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (type of cancer of the blood)
Cancer of the blood and lymph system
Cancer of the endometrium
Other uses (PubMed Health)
How To Use
Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
The medicine often causes changes in your blood. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking this medicine occasionally so he or she can take blood samples.
This medicine sometimes works slowly, and it may keep working for several months. Follow your personal medicine schedule carefully.
If a dose is missed:
Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:
Store the medicine in the refrigerator, away from direct light. Do not freeze.
Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Tell your doctor if you have ever been treated with radiation or other cancer medicines.
When Not To Use
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to melphalan or if you have used this medicine before and it did not help you. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease.
It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
This medicine could cause infertility. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children.
This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
Some people who have used this medicine have developed a second form of cancer. It is not known if this medicine caused the second cancer to develop. Talk to your doctor about this risk.
Cancer medicine can cause nausea or vomiting, sometimes even after you receive medicine to prevent these effects. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control any nausea or vomiting that might happen.
Possible side effects
Summary More details
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
Blood in your urine or stools
New lumps or growths under your skin
Painful or difficult breathing
Severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Skin or eyes turn yellow
Skin rash or redness
Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
Missed menstrual periods
Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More side effects of this drug
Brand names include
There may be other brand names for this medicine.