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Pentostatin

Generic Name: pentostatin (PEN-toe-sta-tin)
Brand Name: Nipent

The use of doses higher than specified by the manufacturer of pentostatin is not recommended. Severe kidney, liver, lung, and central nervous system problems (toxicities) have occurred in some studies when using higher than recommended doses. Pentostatin is not recommended for use with fludarabine. The use of pentostatin in combination with fludarabine has caused severe lung problems; in some cases, this has led to death. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


Pentostatin is used for:

Treating certain types of cancer.

Pentostatin is an antineoplastic. How it prevents growth of cancer cells is unknown.

Do NOT use pentostatin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in pentostatin
  • you are taking fludarabine

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

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Before using pentostatin:

Some medical conditions may interact with pentostatin. Tell your doctor or pharmacist 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 an infection, chickenpox, kidney problems, or blood problems

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

  • Carmustine, cyclophosphamide, etoposide, fludarabine, or vidarabine because the risk of side effects, including life-threatening lung toxicity, may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if pentostatin 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 pentostatin:

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

  • Pentostatin is administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
  • If pentostatin accidentally spills on your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of pentostatin, contact your doctor right away.

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

Important safety information:

  • Pentostatin may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in stools, or dark, tarry stools to your doctor.
  • Pentostatin may lower your body's ability to fight infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • If nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite occurs, ask your doctor or pharmacist for ways to lessen these effects.
  • Check with your doctor before having vaccinations while you are using pentostatin.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using pentostatin.
  • The use of birth control is recommended while you are using pentostatin.
  • LAB TESTS, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood cell count, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use pentostatin with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Pentostatin has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while taking pentostatin. If you think you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using pentostatin during pregnancy. It is unknown if pentostatin is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking pentostatin.

Possible side effects of pentostatin:

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:

Diarrhea; fatigue; headache; loss of appetite; muscle pain; nausea; vomiting; weakness.

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); chills; cough; eye pain or changes in vision; fever; hoarseness; itching; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; sore throat; sores on the mouth or lips; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness

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 pentostatin:

Pentostatin is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using pentostatin at home, store pentostatin as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about pentostatin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Pentostatin 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 pentostatin 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 pentostatin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to pentostatin. 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 pentostatin.

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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