Brand Name(s): Cosmegen
Drug Class: Antitumor antibiotics
Dactinomycin is also known as actinomycin D and is one of the most abundant actinomycin. Dactinomycin belongs to the antitumor antibiotics drug class. Dactinomycin is isolated from Streptomyces a soil bacteria. Dactinomycin has been used for many years to fight certain types of cancer like Ewing's sarcoma and Wilm's tumor.
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Dactinomycin is the active ingredient of the drug known as Cosmegen. Dactinomycin has antibacterial properties that are inhibitory to the growth of both the gram positive and gram negative bacteria. It also has the same effects on some fungi. Dactinomycin is an antineoplastic, and it also causes a cytotoxic effect. The cytotoxic effect is the major reason as to why it can fight some types of cancer. Here is a list of some of the diseases that Dactinomycin treats;
- Ewing's sarcoma
- Wilm's tumor
- Malignant hydatidiform mole
- Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia.
Dactinomycin can treat these diseases because it can bind to DNA preventing the RNA polymerase elongation, eventually reducing protein synthesis, which leads to tumor cell death.
Dactinomycin is a regulated prescription substance and therefore you should stick to the set dosage and treatment plan. You should only alter your dosage after consulting your doctor, doing so without your doctor's' consent could greatly affect your response to the treatment and expose you to serious side effects. A Dactinomycin dose is set based a few factors that may include
- Your body weight
- Your medical condition
- Your response to the treatment plan
The dose is set as follows
- For the treatment of Wilms tumor, Ewings Sarcoma, Rhabdomyosarcoma the dose is set at 15mcg/kg/day administered intravenously for a period of five days. This treatment regimen may be carried out every 3-6 weeks.
- For the treatment of malignant disease, the dose is set at 50mcg/kg for lower body portions and 35mcg/kg for upper body parts
Dactinomycin Side Effects
The use of Dactinomycin may result in the occurrence of some undesired side effects, this is the case with most prescription drugs, however this fact should not stop you from completing your set dose of Dactinomycin because these side effects can be dealt with and the benefits of the drug outweigh the side effects. It is important to understand that these symptoms may vary across a given population. You should consult your doctor about any anticipated side effects and how to combat the symptoms. Some of the common side effects that may occur when using Dactinomycin may include
These symptoms may fade away gradually as your body adjusts to the medication, however, if these symptoms persist or if you experience the below side effects you should inform your doctor promptly
- Hair loss
- Mouth ulceration
- Joint pains
- Persistent Diarrhea
- Joint edema
- Bloody stool
- Difficulties breathing
Drug interactions are important because they influence the performance of the drug and its ability to deliver the desired effects. Interactions can either exaggerate the effects of the target drug or hinder its effectiveness totally, they also expose you to serious adverse side effects. You need to diligently inform your doctor about all the substances you are taking whether they are prescribed or not prior to taking your first dose of Dactinomycin, this will enable the doctor to rule out any adverse drug interactions in time. Some of the substances known to interact with Dactinomycin include