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Generic Name: plicamycin (plih CA my sin)
Brand Name: Mithracin

What is Mithracin (plicamycin)?

Plicamycin is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication. Plicamycin interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Plicamycin is used to treat cancer of the testicles. Plicamycin is also used in the treatment of treat too much calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia) and too much calcium in the urine (hypercalciuria) associated with a variety of advanced forms of cancer.

Plicamycin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Mithracin (plicamycin)?

Plicamycin should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Serious side effects have been reported with the use of plicamycin including: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; fever or chills; or signs of infection such as fever; chills, or sore throat); severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite; and others. Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects from treatment with plicamycin.

Plicamycin should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant.

Who should not take Mithracin (plicamycin)?

Before taking plicamycin, tell your doctor if you have

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • bone marrow problems; or

  • a bleeding disorder.

You may not be able to take plicamycin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Plicamycin is in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that plicamycin is known to cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Plicamycin may also affect egg production in women and sperm production in men. Do not take plicamycin if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Contraceptive measures are recommended during treatment with plicamycin.

It is not known whether plicamycin passes into breast milk. Do not take plicamycin without first talking to your doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.

How should I take Mithracin (plicamycin)?

Plicamycin should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Your doctor will determine the correct amount and frequency of treatment with plicamycin depending upon the type of cancer being treated and other factors. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the treatment schedule.

Your doctor will probably want you to have regularly scheduled blood tests and other medical evaluations during treatment with plicamycin to monitor progress and side effects.

Your healthcare provider will store cladribine as directed by the manufacturer. If you are storing cladribine, follow the directions provided by your healthcare provider.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of plicamycin injection.

What happens if I overdose?

If for any reason an overdose of plicamycin is suspected, seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Symptoms of a plicamycin overdose tend to be similar to side effects caused by the medication, although often more severe.

What should I avoid while taking Mithracin (plicamycin)?

Plicamycin can lower the activity of your immune system making you susceptible to infections. Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses and do not receive vaccines that contain live strains of a virus (e.g., live oral polio vaccine) during treatment with plicamycin. In addition, avoid contact with individuals who have recently been vaccinated with a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus can be passed on to you.

Mithracin (plicamycin) side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (shortness of breath; closing of your throat; difficulty breathing; swelling of your lips, face, or tongue; or hives);

  • blood in the urine;

  • black or tarry stools;

  • signs of infection such as fever; chills, or sore throat;

  • nose bleed (epistaxis) or vomiting blood (hematemesis); or

  • unusual bleeding or bruising.

Other less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or decreased appetite;

  • mouth sores;

  • drowsiness and extremely deep sleep;

  • a general discomfort or uneasiness;

  • headache or depression;

  • a rash; or

  • facial flushing..

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Mithracin (plicamycin)?

Do not receive "live" vaccines during treatment with plicamycin. Administration of a live vaccine may be dangerous during treatment with plicamycin.

Other drugs may interact with plicamycin. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products, during treatment with plicamycin.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about plicamycin written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Plicamycin is available with a prescription under the brand name Mithracin. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • 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: 1.03. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:03:01 PM.