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Altretamine is an oral cancer medication. It is prescribed for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer. It interferes with the growth of cancer cells and prevents the cancer cells from spreading in the body.  Altretamine is FDA approved for the treatment and relieving the symptoms of ovarian cancer since 1990. It is usually given after other cancer medications were ineffective. It may also be used for the purposes as determined by your physician.

Altretamine is an antineoplastic agent. The exact mechanism of action remains unknown. Since it is an antineoplastic agent, it metabolizes into alkylating agents by N-demethylation.  These agents can cause damages to the tumor cells.

How to use Altretamine?

Take Altretamine exactly as directed. The recommended dose of this medication is 1 tablet 4 times a day. It is given in a 28-day treatment cycle. Take your medication only during the first 2 or 3 weeks of each cycle or as determined by your doctor.  Take your medication after each meal and before bedtime with enough water. Do not take more than what is prescribed or longer than the recommended duration of treatment. For a missed dose, contact your doctor right away. In case of an overdose, seek medical attention right away.

What are the side effects of Altretamine?

Some common side effects are:

  • Temporary hair loss
  • Mild to moderate nausea
  • Rash and itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood changes
  • Vertigo
  • Abnormal functions of the sensory nerves of the legs and arms causing numbness and tingling

Serious side effects are:

  • Severe numbness of the limbs
  • Seizure
  • Pain in the upper stomach, yellowing of the eye and skin
  • Severe vomiting
  • Light-headed feeling
  • Severe dizziness

If you will experience other side effects not mentioned above, consult your doctor right away.

Important Information

  • Do not use this medication if you have severe bone marrow suppression or severe nerve problems.
  • Altretamine can affect your nervous system. In case of serious side effects like fainting, seizure and severe dizziness, seek medical attention right away.
  • Do not use this medication if you are allergic to it.
  • Inform your doctor if you have recently used an MAO inhibitor and other medications.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women must not use this medication.
  • Your blood should be tested more often because this medication can lower your blood cells that help fight infections.
  • You may also have to check your muscle and nerve functions more often.