Dactinomycin injection is used to treat certain types of cancer. This includes cancer of the bones and soft tissue (including muscles and tendons), Wilms’ tumor (a cancer of the kidney found primarily in children), tumors in the uterus or womb, and cancer of the testicles.
Dactinomycin interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by dactinomycin, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Other effects, like hair loss, 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 dactinomycin, you and your doctor should talk about the benefits this medicine will do as well as the risks of using it.
This medicine is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you or your child this medicine in a hospital or cancer treatment center. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
Dactinomycin is sometimes given together with certain other medicines. If you are receiving a combination of medicines, it is important that you receive each one at the proper time. If you are taking some of these medicines by mouth, ask your doctor to help you plan a way to remember to take them at the right times.
This medicine often causes nausea and vomiting. However, it is very important that you continue to receive the medicine, even if you begin to feel ill. Ask your doctor for ways to lessen these effects.
This medicine is very toxic and can cause severe damage to your skin, eyes, nose, throat, or lungs. The medicine must not come into contact with your skin, eyes, or any other part of your body. If any of the medicine does get in the eyes, wash the eyes with water, normal saline, or a balanced salt irrigating eye solution for at least 15 minutes and check with your doctor right away. If any of the medicine does get in your skin, wash the affected part with water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothes and shoes. Check with your doctor right away. The contaminated clothes should be destroyed and shoes must be cleaned thoroughly before using it again.