melphalan - oral, Alkeran (cont.)

USES: This medication is used to treat certain types of cancer (multiple myeloma, ovarian cancer). Melphalan belongs to a class of drugs known as alkylating agents. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth, usually once a day as directed by your doctor. Your doctor may direct you to take this medication on an empty stomach. Follow your doctor's directions closely.The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and blood counts. The dosing of this medication is different for everyone. Your doctor may direct you to take it daily for several weeks, followed by several weeks of not taking the drug, and then direct you to take it daily again. Other patients may take it for only a few days, and then repeat the treatment every few weeks. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about this medication. It is very important that you understand exactly how to take this medication to get the most benefit and to lower your chance of serious side effects.Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication. This helps your kidneys to remove the drug from your body and avoid some of the side effects.Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased. Do not stop taking this medication without talking with your doctor, even if you feel nauseated or experience vomiting. If you vomit shortly after a dose, or if you miss a dose, contact your doctor immediately.It may take several months before you see a benefit from this drug.Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets. All people should wash their hands carefully after handling this drug.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/16/2014

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Back to Medications Index