Hexalen

Generic Name: altretamine (al-TRET-a-meen)
Brand Name: Hexalen

Because altretamine can cause blood problems (eg, bone marrow suppression, thrombocytopenia), blood tests must be done before starting Hexalen and at least once a month thereafter. Hexalen can also cause nervous system problems; therefore, nervous system tests must be done during treatment with this drug. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop signs of blood disorders or nervous system problems such as persistent fever or sore throat, easy bruising or bleeding, loss of coordination, mood changes, dizziness, or tingling of the hands or feet.


Hexalen is used for:

Treating certain types of cancer.

Hexalen is an antineoplastic alkylating agent. It is unknown exactly how Hexalen works.

Do NOT use Hexalen if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Hexalen
  • you have shingles, chicken pox, an infection, severe bone marrow depression, or nerve problems

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using Hexalen:

Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have bone marrow cancer, bone marrow depression, a history of low white blood cell count, or liver problems
  • if you are receiving radiation

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Hexalen. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine) because severe dizziness upon standing may occur
  • Pyridoxine because the effectiveness of Hexalen may be decreased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Hexalen may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Hexalen:

Use Hexalen as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Hexalen with food or milk.
  • Take Hexalen on the days indicated by your doctor.
  • If nausea or vomiting occurs, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for ways to lessen these effects.
  • If you miss a dose of Hexalen, check with your doctor or pharmacist. Doubling missed doses may increase nausea and vomiting.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Hexalen.

Important safety information:

  • Hexalen lowers your resistance to infection. To prevent infection, avoid contact with people who have colds or other infections. Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have thoroughly washed your hands first.
  • Hexalen may reduce the number of blood cells needed for clotting. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations where bruising or injury may occur.
  • LAB TESTS, such as blood tests including platelet counts, may be done to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Hexalen with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially kidney function.
  • Hexalen is not recommended for use in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY AND BREAST-FEEDING: Use of Hexalen during pregnancy has resulted in birth defects. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately. It is unknown if Hexalen is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Hexalen.

Possible side effects of Hexalen:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); cough; difficulty walking; dizziness; fever or chills; loss of coordination; mood changes; sores on the mouth or lips; sore throat; tingling or numbness of the hands or feet; unusual bruising or bleeding.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Hexalen:

Store Hexalen at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) in a tightly closed container, away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Hexalen out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Hexalen, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Hexalen is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Hexalen or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Hexalen. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Hexalen. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Hexalen.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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