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Amifostine

Generic Name: Amifostine (am i FOS teen)
Brand Name: Ethyol

Medically reviewed on May 2, 2018.

Uses of Amifostine:

  • It is used to lower the side effects of some chemo drugs or radiation.

Children:

  • This medicine is not approved for use in children. However, the doctor may decide the benefits of taking amifostine outweigh the risks. If your child has been given amifostine, ask the doctor for information about the benefits and risks. Talk with the doctor if you have questions about giving amifostine to your child.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Amifostine?

  • If you have an allergy to amifostine, aminothiol compounds, or any other part of amifostine.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Fluid loss or low blood pressure.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take amifostine.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with amifostine.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take amifostine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Amifostine?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take amifostine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down. Be careful going up and down stairs.
  • If you are taking drugs for high blood pressure, talk with your doctor. Your doctor may ask you to skip that drug the day before and on the morning of care.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Have your blood pressure checked often. Talk with your doctor.
  • You will need to be sure that you are not dehydrated before getting amifostine. Check with your doctor to see if you need to drink extra fluids before getting amifostine.
  • Other drugs will be given with amifostine to help avoid side effects.
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly reaction has happened with amifostine. Most of the time, this reaction has signs like fever, rash, or swollen glands with problems in body organs like the liver, kidney, blood, heart, muscles and joints, or lungs. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you are 65 or older, use amifostine with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using amifostine while you are pregnant.

How is this medicine (Amifostine) best taken?

Use amifostine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low calcium levels like muscle cramps or spasms, numbness and tingling, or seizures.
  • Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Seizures.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Fast or slow heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Swollen gland.
  • Redness or irritation of the palms of hands or soles of feet.
  • Very bad irritation where the shot was given.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

What are some other side effects of Amifostine?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Amifostine?

  • If you need to store amifostine at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about amifostine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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