Pralatrexate (Injection)

Introduction

Pralatrexate (pral-a-TREX-ate)

Treats a certain type of cancer of the blood. This medicine is used when other medicines failed or did not work well.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Folotyn

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to pralatrexate, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
  • Your doctor may tell you to take a folic acid supplement and vitamin B12. These medicines could help prevent some side effects of pralatrexate. Vitamin B12 is often given as an injection (shot). Your doctor will tell you how much of each medicine to take and when to take them. You might want to write your medicine schedule on a calendar to help you remember.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using probenecid (Benemid®), medicine to treat an infection (such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, Bactrim®, Cotrim®, or Septra®), or pain or arthritis medicine called NSAIDs (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, Advil®, Motrin®, or Voltaren®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or bone marrow problems (such as anemia, neutropenia, or thrombocytopenia).
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • This medicine may cause mucositis, which is redness or sores on the inside of the mouth or tongue. Check with your doctor right away if you have cracked lips, diarrhea, difficulty with swallowing, or sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips, tongue, or inside of the mouth while you are using this medicine.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Difficulty with swallowing.
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, cough, night sweats, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed.
  • Shortness of breath or troubled breathing.
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or stomach pain.
  • Nosebleeds.
  • Pain in the arms or legs.
  • Rash or itching skin.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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