Amifostine

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Amifostine Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is amifostine used for?

Amifostine is commonly used to lower the side effects of some chemo drugs or radiation.

This medicine is not approved for use in children. However, the doctor may decide the benefits of taking amifostine outweigh the risks. If your child has been given this medicine, ask the doctor for information about the benefits and risks. Talk with the doctor if you have questions about giving amifostine to your child.

How should I take amifostine?

Use amifostine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.

How do I store amifostine?

Amifostine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store amifostine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of amifostine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush amifostine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using amifostine?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of amifostine or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have any of these health problems: Fluid loss or low blood pressure.

Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.

To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing stairs.

If you are taking drugs for high blood pressure, talk with your doctor. Your doctor may ask you to skip that drug the day before and on the morning of care.

Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.

Have your blood pressure checked often. Talk with your doctor.

You will need to be sure that you are not dehydrated before getting amifostine. Check with your doctor to see if you need to drink extra fluids before getting this medicine.

Other drugs will be given with amifostine to help avoid side effects.

A very bad and sometimes deadly reaction has happened with this medicine. Most of the time, this reaction has signs like fever, rash, or swollen glands with problems in body organs like the liver, kidney, blood, heart, muscles and joints, or lungs. Talk with the doctor.

If you are 65 or older, use amifostine with care. You could have more side effects.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using amifostine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking amifostine. Amifostine is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from amifostine?

Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Signs of low calcium levels like muscle cramps or spasms, numbness and tingling, or seizures
  • Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out
  • Shortness of breath
  • Seizures
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Fast or slow heartbeat
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up
  • Swollen gland
  • Redness or irritation of the palms of hands or soles of feet
  • Very bad irritation where the shot was given

A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with amifostine?

Amifostine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with amifostine?

Amifostine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with amifostine?

Amifostine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using amifostine.

What is the dose of amifostine for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

To reduce the cumulative renal toxicity associated with repeated administration of cisplatin: 910 mg/m2 administered once daily as a 15-minute IV infusion, starting 30 minutes prior to chemotherapy.

The 15-minute infusion is better tolerated than more extended infusions. Further reductions in infusion times for chemotherapy regimens have not been systematically investigated.

Patients should be adequately hydrated prior to amifostine infusion and kept in a supine position during the infusion. Blood pressure should be monitored every 5 minutes during the infusion, and thereafter as clinically indicated.

Usual Adult Dose for Ovarian Cancer

To reduce the cumulative renal toxicity associated with repeated administration of cisplatin: 910 mg/m2 administered once daily as a 15-minute IV infusion, starting 30 minutes prior to chemotherapy.

The 15-minute infusion is better tolerated than more extended infusions. Further reductions in infusion times for chemotherapy regimens have not been systematically investigated.

Patients should be adequately hydrated prior to amifostine infusion and kept in a supine position during the infusion. Blood pressure should be monitored every 5 minutes during the infusion, and thereafter as clinically indicated.

Usual Adult Dose for Malignant Disease

For reduction of moderate to severe xerostomia in patients undergoing postoperative radiation treatment for head and neck cancer, where the radiation port includes a substantial portion of the parotid glands:

The recommended dose of amifostine is 200 mg/m2 administered once daily as a 3-minute intravenous infusion, starting 15 to 30 minutes prior to standard fraction radiation therapy (1.8-2.0 Gy).

Patients should be adequately hydrated prior to amifostine infusion. Blood pressure should be monitored at least before and immediately after the infusion, and thereafter as clinically indicated.

It is recommended that antiemetic medication be administered prior to and in conjunction with amifostine. Oral 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, alone or in combination with other antiemetics, have been used effectively in the radiotherapy setting.

What is the dose of amifostine for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is amifostine available?

Amifostine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Injection

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of amifostine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: October 3, 2017 | Last Modified: September 11, 2019

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