Skip to Content

Altretamine

Pronunciation

(al TRET a meen)

Index Terms

  • Hexamethylmelamine
  • HMM
  • HXM

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Slideshow: Misdiagnosis: Righting The Wrong

Capsule, Oral:

Hexalen: 50 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Hexalen

Pharmacologic Category

  • Antineoplastic Agent, Alkylating Agent

Pharmacology

Altretamine structurally resembles alkylating agents, although has demonstrated activity in tumors resistant to classic alkylating agents. Cytotoxic effect not fully characterized, however it is theorized that metabolically activated oxidative N-demethylation intermediates bind to and damage DNA.

Absorption

Well absorbed

Distribution

Distributed into tissues high in lipid content and into tumor tissue

Metabolism

Hepatic; rapid and extensive oxidative N-demethylation to active metabolites (pentamethylmelamine and tetramethylmelamine)

Excretion

Urine (90%, <1% as unchanged drug)

Time to Peak

Plasma: 0.5-3 hours

Half-Life Elimination

~7 hours (range: 2-10 hours)

Use: Labeled Indications

Palliative treatment of persistent or recurrent ovarian cancer

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to altretamine or any component of the formulation; preexisting severe bone marrow suppression or severe neurologic toxicity

Dosage

Note: Altretamine is associated with a high emetic potential; antiemetics are recommended to prevent nausea and vomiting (Roila, 2010)

Oral: Adults: Ovarian cancer, persistent or recurrent: 260 mg/m2/day in 4 divided doses for 14 or 21 days of a 28-day cycle

Dosage adjustment for toxicity: Temporarily withhold for 14 days or longer, and resume dose at 200 mg/m2/day for any of the following:

Platelet count <75,000/mm3

White blood cell count <2000/mm3 or granulocyte count <1000/mm3

Progressive neurotoxicity

Gastrointestinal intolerance not responsive to antiemetic regimens

Discontinue if neurotoxicity does not stabilize at 200 mg/m2/day.

Dosage adjustment in renal impairment: No dosage adjustment provided in manufacturer’s labeling (has not been studied).

Dosage adjustment in hepatic impairment: No dosage adjustment provided in manufacturer’s labeling (has not been studied).

Dosing in obesity: ASCO Guidelines for appropriate chemotherapy dosing in obese adults with cancer: Utilize patient’s actual body weight (full weight) for calculation of body surface area- or weight-based dosing, particularly when the intent of therapy is curative; manage regimen-related toxicities in the same manner as for nonobese patients; if a dose reduction is utilized due to toxicity, consider resumption of full weight-based dosing with subsequent cycles, especially if cause of toxicity (eg, hepatic or renal impairment) is resolved (Griggs, 2012).

Administration

Altretamine is associated with a high emetic potential; antiemetics are recommended to prevent nausea and vomiting (Dupuis, 2011; Roila, 2010)

Administer total daily dose orally as 4 divided doses after meals and at bedtime.

Hazardous agent; use appropriate precautions for handling and disposal (NIOSH 2014 [group 1]).

Dietary Considerations

Should be taken after meals (and at bedtime).

Storage

Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F).

Drug Interactions

BCG (Intravesical): Immunosuppressants may diminish the therapeutic effect of BCG (Intravesical). Avoid combination

BCG (Intravesical): Myelosuppressive Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of BCG (Intravesical). Avoid combination

CloZAPine: Myelosuppressive Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CloZAPine. Specifically, the risk for neutropenia may be increased. Monitor therapy

Coccidioides immitis Skin Test: Immunosuppressants may diminish the diagnostic effect of Coccidioides immitis Skin Test. Monitor therapy

Deferiprone: Myelosuppressive Agents may enhance the neutropenic effect of Deferiprone. Avoid combination

Denosumab: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Immunosuppressants. Specifically, the risk for serious infections may be increased. Monitor therapy

Dipyrone: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Myelosuppressive Agents. Specifically, the risk for agranulocytosis and pancytopenia may be increased Avoid combination

Echinacea: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Immunosuppressants. Consider therapy modification

Fingolimod: Immunosuppressants may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Fingolimod. Management: Avoid the concomitant use of fingolimod and other immunosuppressants when possible. If combined, monitor patients closely for additive immunosuppressant effects (eg, infections). Consider therapy modification

Leflunomide: Immunosuppressants may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Leflunomide. Specifically, the risk for hematologic toxicity such as pancytopenia, agranulocytosis, and/or thrombocytopenia may be increased. Management: Consider not using a leflunomide loading dose in patients receiving other immunosuppressants. Patients receiving both leflunomide and another immunosuppressant should be monitored for bone marrow suppression at least monthly. Consider therapy modification

MAO Inhibitors: Altretamine may enhance the orthostatic hypotensive effect of MAO Inhibitors. Exceptions: Linezolid; Tedizolid. Monitor therapy

Multivitamins/Fluoride (with ADE): May diminish the therapeutic effect of Altretamine. Specifically, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplementation may diminish the response to altretamin/cisplatin treatment. Management: In spite of its beneficial effects on altretamine-associated neurotoxicity, the potential reduction in response duration may warrant consideration of not using multivitamins containing pyridoxine (vitamin B6) with an altretamine/cisplatin regimen. Consider therapy modification

Multivitamins/Minerals (with ADEK, Folate, Iron): May diminish the therapeutic effect of Altretamine. Management: Consider avoiding use of multivitamins that contain vitamin B6 in combination with altretamine. Consider therapy modification

Multivitamins/Minerals (with AE, No Iron): May diminish the therapeutic effect of Altretamine. Management: Consider avoiding use of multivitamins that contain vitamin B6 in combination with altretamine. Consider therapy modification

Natalizumab: Immunosuppressants may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Natalizumab. Specifically, the risk of concurrent infection may be increased. Avoid combination

Pimecrolimus: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Immunosuppressants. Avoid combination

Pyridoxine: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Altretamine. Specifically when altretamine is used in combination with Cisplatin the response duration may be diminished. Consider therapy modification

Roflumilast: May enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Immunosuppressants. Consider therapy modification

Sipuleucel-T: Immunosuppressants may diminish the therapeutic effect of Sipuleucel-T. Monitor therapy

Tacrolimus (Topical): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Immunosuppressants. Avoid combination

Tofacitinib: Immunosuppressants may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Tofacitinib. Management: Concurrent use with antirheumatic doses of methotrexate or nonbiologic disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) is permitted, and this warning seems particularly focused on more potent immunosuppressants. Avoid combination

Trastuzumab: May enhance the neutropenic effect of Immunosuppressants. Monitor therapy

Tricyclic Antidepressants: Altretamine may enhance the orthostatic hypotensive effect of Tricyclic Antidepressants. Monitor therapy

Vaccines (Inactivated): Immunosuppressants may diminish the therapeutic effect of Vaccines (Inactivated). Management: Vaccine efficacy may be reduced. Complete all age-appropriate vaccinations at least 2 weeks prior to starting an immunosuppressant. If vaccinated during immunosuppressant therapy, revaccinate at least 3 months after immunosuppressant discontinuation. Consider therapy modification

Vaccines (Live): Immunosuppressants may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Vaccines (Live). Immunosuppressants may diminish the therapeutic effect of Vaccines (Live). Management: Avoid use of live organism vaccines with immunosuppressants; live-attenuated vaccines should not be given for at least 3 months after immunosuppressants. Avoid combination

Adverse Reactions

>10%:

Gastrointestinal: Nausea/vomiting (33%; severe 1%)

Hematologic: Anemia (33%), leukopenia (5% to 15%; grade 4: <1%)

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Peripheral sensory neuropathy (31%; mild: 9%; moderate-to-severe: 9%)

1% to 10%:

Central nervous system: Fatigue, seizure

Gastrointestinal: Anorexia

Hematologic: Thrombocytopenia

Hepatic: Alkaline phosphatase increased

Renal: BUN increased, serum creatinine increased

<1% (Limited to important or life-threatening): Alopecia, ataxia, depression, dizziness, hepatotoxicity, mood disorders, neurotoxicity, pruritus, rash, vertigo

ALERT: U.S. Boxed Warning

Experienced physician:

Administer only under the supervision of a physician experienced in the use of antineoplastic agents.

Bone marrow suppression:

Monitor peripheral blood counts at least monthly, prior to the initiation of each course of altretamine therapy and as clinically indicated.

Neurotoxicity:

Because of the possibility of altretamine-related neurotoxicity, perform neurologic examination regularly during administration.

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Bone marrow suppression: [U.S. Boxed Warning]: Peripheral blood counts should be done routinely before each cycle and during treatment; dose-related bone marrow suppression is common. Use with caution in patients previously treated with other myelosuppressive agents.

• Gastrointestinal toxicity: Altretamine is associated with a high emetic potential; antiemetics are recommended to prevent nausea and vomiting (Dupuis, 2011; Roila, 2010).

• Neurotoxicity: [U.S. Boxed Warning]: Due to the potential for neurologic toxicity, neurologic examinations should be done routinely before each cycle and during treatment. Peripheral neuropathy and neurotoxicity (ataxia, dizziness, vertigo, mood disorders, and disorders of consciousness) have been reported; usually occur in patients receiving continuous high-dose daily treatment and is generally reversible upon discontinuation. Has been administered safely to patients with preexisting neuropathy (due to cisplatin); close monitoring is required.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• MAO inhibitors: Concurrent use of altretamine and MAO inhibitors may cause severe orthostatic hypotension.

Special handling:

• Hazardous agent: Use appropriate precautions for handling and disposal (NIOSH 2014 [group 1]).

Other warnings/precautions:

• Experienced physician: [U.S. Boxed Warning]: Should be administered under the supervision of an experienced cancer chemotherapy physician.

Monitoring Parameters

CBC with differential (before each cycle and regularly during treatment), neurologic examination (before each cycle and regularly during treatment)

Pregnancy Risk Factor

D

Pregnancy Considerations

Teratogenic effects were noted in animal studies. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. May cause fetal harm if administered during pregnancy. Women of childbearing potential should avoid becoming pregnant while on therapy.

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of infection, severe nausea, vomiting, bruising, bleeding, loss of strength and energy, burning or numbness feeling, change in balance, mood changes, dizziness, or abnormal gait (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for healthcare professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience and judgment in diagnosing, treating and advising patients.

Hide