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Mitomycin

Generic Name: mitomycin (MYE toe MYE sin)
Brand Name: Mutamycin

Medically reviewed on August 29, 2017

What is mitomycin?

Mitomycin is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Mitomycin is used in combination with other cancer medications to treat cancer of the stomach and pancreas.

Mitomycin treats only the symptoms of stomach or pancreatic cancer but does not treat the cancer itself.

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

Important Information

Mitomycin can weaken (suppress) your immune system, and you may get an infection more easily. Call your doctor if you have signs of infection (fever, weakness, cold or flu symptoms, skin sores, frequent or recurring illness).

Mitomycin can also damage red blood cells, which may cause irreversible kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, pale skin, confusion, tiredness or irritability, stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, red or pink urine, swelling, rapid weight gain, and little or no urinating.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use mitomycin if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia;

  • bone marrow suppression; or

  • active bleeding or any risk of bleeding.

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

Using mitomycin during pregnancy could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant while using mitomycin.

Mitomycin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How is mitomycin given?

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

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when mitomycin is injected.

Some people receiving mitomycin have developed ulcers on the skin where an injection was given, or on other areas of body. Skin changes may occur several weeks or months after a mitomycin injection. Call your doctor if you notice any redness, sores, oozing, or other skin changes during or after your treatment with mitomycin.

Mitomycin can weaken (suppress) your immune system, and you may get an infection more easily. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Mitomycin can have long lasting effects on your body. You may need frequent medical tests for a short time after you stop using this medication.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your mitomycin injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving mitomycin?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using mitomycin, or you could develop a serious infection. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

mitomycin can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Mitomycin side effects

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

Mitomycin can damage red blood cells, which may cause irreversible kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have:

  • pale skin, unusual bruising or bleeding;

  • confusion, tiredness or irritability;

  • stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, red or pink urine;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain; or

  • little or no urinating.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • signs of infection (fever, weakness, cold or flu symptoms, skin sores, frequent or recurring illness);

  • wheezing, chest tightness, new or worsening cough, trouble breathing;

  • blisters or ulcers in your mouth, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing; or

  • pain, burning, redness, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given.

Common side effects may include:

  • fever or other signs of infection;

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite;

  • mouth sores;

  • drowsiness, headache;

  • blurred vision; or

  • temporary hair loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Mitomycin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Stomach Cancer:

For use in treatment of disseminated adenocarcinoma of the stomach in proven combination with other approved chemotherapeutic agents or as palliative treatment when other modalities have failed:

After full hematologic recovery from any previous chemotherapy, the following dosage schedule may be used at 6 to 8 week intervals: 20 mg/m2 intravenously as a single dose via a functioning intravenous catheter.

Usual Adult Dose for Pancreatic Cancer:

For use in treatment of disseminated adenocarcinoma of the pancreas in proven combination with other approved chemotherapeutic agents or as palliative treatment when other modalities have failed:

After full hematologic recovery from any previous chemotherapy, the following dosage schedule may be used at 6 to 8 week intervals: 20 mg/m2 intravenously as a single dose via a functioning intravenous catheter.

Usual Adult Dose for Bladder Cancer:

40 mg by intravesical installation

What other drugs will affect mitomycin?

Other drugs may interact with mitomycin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

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

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