Generic Name(s): Porfimer sodium
Drug Class: antineoplastics
Treats: Bladder cancer. non-small cell lung cancer, esophageal cancer, Barrett's esophagus
Photofrin is used to relieve the symptoms of esophageal cancer in certain patients. Photofrin is also used to treat small cell lung cancer in certain patients. Photofrin may be used to treat Barrett esophagus in certain patients. Note that Photofrin is used alongside radiation therapy.
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Photofrin belongs to a class of drugs known as antineoplastics. Photofrin works by binding cancer cells that are exposed to laser light, an action that damages and sometimes the cancer cells. Photofrin is available in several different forms and the choice of one form over the other is determined by your doctor. Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any ingredient in Photofrin. Also, let the doctor know if you have an abnormal passage between the esophagus and the trachea or emergency breathing problems caused by a bronchial lesion obstructing airflow. While your doctor may prescribe Photofrin for other uses not listed in this medication guide, it is typically used for:
- Bladder cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Endobronchial cancer
- Non-small cell lung cancer
Photofrin dosage is determined by the severity of the condition it is being used for. The dosage may differ from one patient to the other depending on weight and the level at which the body can tolerate the effects of the drug. The amount of Photofrin to be used for the patient is based on the strength of the medicine. Below is a typical Photofrin dosage.
- 2;mg per kilogram of body weight
Photofrin Side Effects
Patients using Photofrin will experience side effects, which is normal with most drugs. However, the intensity of these side effects may differ from one patient to the other. While not all side effects may be reported, you need to seek immediate attention in case you experience severe side effects to avoid fatalities. Note that Photofrin may cause other side effects not listed below.
Common Side Effects
- Feeling weak
- Stomach pain
Consult a Doctor if You Experience the Following Photofrin Side Effects:
- Slowed heartbeat
- Inflammation of the lung
- Changes in the kidney's functionality
- Tightness in the chest
Seek your doctor's advice before starting, changing or stopping the use of any medication to avert any possible Photofrin drug interactions. The doctor may be aware of the interactions but even then you need to inform him or her about of the prescription, over the counter drug and herbal products you are using before taking Photofrin.
Drugs that interact with Photofrin
You should seek your doctor's advice on more drugs that can interact with Photofrin as this may not be a complete list.