Generic Name(s): Melphalan
Drug Class: Alkylating Agents
Treats: Multiple Myeloma, Ovarian Cancer, AL Amyloidosis, Retinoblastoma
Alkeran is a chemotherapeutic drug used in the treatment of conditions such as multiple myeloma, ovarian cancer, AL amyloidosis and retinoblastoma. The active pharmaceutical ingredient of the medicine is melphalan. Belonging to a class of drugs known as alkylating agents, Alkeran works by interfering in the DNA replication process of cancerous cells, thereby destroying them. Alkeran is typically administered by intravenous infusion over 20 minutes every couple of weeks, depending on the regimen chosen by the oncologist. Side-effects include immunosuppression, which may lead to an increased risk of infection and bleeding.
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Alkeran is an alkylating agent that interferes with the process of DNA replication in cancerous cells. For this reason, it is used in various forms of cancer, though most popularly employed in the treatment of multiple myeloma, where it has proven quite efficacious. Alkeran may be used for other conditions not mentioned here, depending on what the prescriber deems necessary.
- Multiple Myeloma
- Ovarian Cancer
- AL Amyloidosis
Be aware that these doses are considered the typical standard doses, and do not apply in all cases. Some patients may have pre-existing medication or disease that impacts on the dose given. In addition, some patients will have more severe symptoms and, therefore, require higher doses.
- Cancer Therapy Adult Dose: Alkeran is typically administered based on the surface area of the patient. The usual dose is 16 mg/m2. The dose is administered by intravenous infusion over 20 minutes and given every two weeks. The dose may vary depending on whether the patient has any co-existing disease.
Alkeran Side Effects
Alkeran is a powerful chemotherapeutic drug and, consequently, there are some quite serious side effects. Patients may experience bone marrow suppression that, in turn, may lead to an increased likelihood of contracting infection, as well as an increased risk of bleeding. Patients may also discover pronounced hair loss on treatment. If you are concerned about the prospective side effects, you should consult this with your healthcare provider at the first opportunity. Consult your doctor should you experience any of the following symptoms.
- Hair Loss
- Mouth Ulcers
You should first inform your medical professional or oncologist of the medications you are currently taking, be they supplements or herbal remedies. This is because many over-the-counter preparations can interact with the prescribed medication. There are numerous important clinical interactions with Alkeran, some of which are listed below. If you are worried about any potential interaction, you should take the time to discuss this with your healthcare provider.