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gallium nitrate

Generic Name: gallium nitrate (GAL ee um NYE trate)
Brand Name: Ganite

What is gallium nitrate?

Gallium nitrate is a form of nitrate salt.

Gallium nitrate is used to lower blood levels of calcium when they have become dangerously high in cancer patients.

Gallium nitrate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about gallium nitrate?

Gallium nitrate can harm your kidneys. This effect is increased when you also use certain other medicines, including: antivirals, chemotherapy, injected antibiotics, medicine for bowel disorders, medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection, injectable osteoporosis medication, and some pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve). If you need to use any of these medicines, you may need to stop using gallium nitrate and drink plenty of fluids for several days.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving gallium nitrate?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to gallium nitrate, or if you have:

  • severe kidney disease.

To make sure gallium nitrate is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a history of kidney disease;

  • heart disease; or

  • if you take diuretics (water pills).

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether gallium nitrate will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

It is not known whether gallium nitrate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How is gallium nitrate given?

Gallium nitrate is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Gallium nitrate must be given as an IV infusion around the clock for up to 5 days, or until blood calcium levels are lowered to a safe level.

During your treatment with gallium nitrate, you may also need to receive intravenous (IV) fluids to keep you from getting dehydrated.

Drink plenty of liquids as directed by your care providers while you are being treated with gallium nitrate.

To be sure this medicine is helping your condition, your blood and urine will need to be tested often. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with gallium nitrate.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Because you will receive gallium nitrate in a clinical setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving gallium nitrate?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Gallium nitrate side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers right away if you have:

  • severe or ongoing nausea or vomiting;

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;

  • blurred vision, headache or pain behind your eyes;

  • confusion, hallucinations;

  • cough, noisy breathing, feeling short of breath; or

  • signs of a kidney problem--little or no urinating; painful or difficult urination; swelling in your feet or ankles; feeling tired or short of breath.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;

  • weakness, fever or cold feeling;

  • swelling in your ankles or feet;

  • fast heart rate; or

  • numbness or tingling, skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect gallium nitrate?

Gallium nitrate can harm your kidneys. This effect is increased when you also use certain other medicines, including:

  • antivirals;

  • chemotherapy;

  • injected antibiotics;

  • medicine for bowel disorders;

  • medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection;

  • injectable osteoporosis medication; or

  • some pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve).

If you need to use any of the medicines above, you may need to stop using gallium nitrate and drink plenty of fluids for several days.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with gallium nitrate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with gallium nitrate. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about gallium nitrate.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 2014-10-03, 11:00:26 AM.