Alkeran Injection

DRUG DESCRIPTION

Melphalan, also known as L-phenylalanine mustard, phenylalanine mustard, L-PAM, or L-sarcolysin, is a phenylalanine derivative of nitrogen mustard. Melphalan is a bifunctional alkylating agent that is active against selected human neoplastic diseases. It is known chemically as 4-[bis(2-chloroethyl)amino]-L-phenylalanine. The molecular formula is C13H18Cl2N2O2 and the molecular weight is 305.20. The structural formula is:

ALKERAN (melphalan hydrochloride)  Structural Formula Illustration

Melphalan is the active L-isomer of the compound and was first synthesized in 1953 by Bergel and Stock; the D-isomer, known as medphalan, is less active against certain animal tumors, and the dose needed to produce effects on chromosomes is larger than that required with the L-isomer. The racemic (DL-) form is known as merphalan or sarcolysin.

Melphalan is practically insoluble in water and has a pKa1 of ~2.5.

ALKERAN for Injection is supplied as a sterile, nonpyrogenic, freeze-dried powder. Each single-use vial contains melphalan hydrochloride equivalent to 50 mg melphalan and 20 mg povidone. ALKERAN for Injection is reconstituted using the sterile diluent provided. Each vial of sterile diluent contains sodium citrate 0.2 g, propylene glycol 6.0 mL, ethanol (96%) 0.52 mL, and Water for Injection to a total of 10 mL. ALKERAN for Injection is administered intravenously.

What are the possible side effects of melphalan (Alkeran, Alkeran I.V.)?

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

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • missed menstrual periods;
  • ...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Alkeran Injection


Alkeran Injection Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Alkeran, Alkeran I.V.

Generic Name: melphalan (Pronunciation: MEL fa lan)

  • What is melphalan (Alkeran Injection)?
  • What are the possible side effects of melphalan (Alkeran Injection)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about melphalan (Alkeran Injection)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using melphalan (Alkeran Injection)?
  • How should I take melphalan (Alkeran Injection)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Alkeran Injection)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Alkeran Injection)?
  • What should I avoid while taking melphalan (Alkeran Injection)?
  • What other drugs will affect melphalan (Alkeran Injection)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is melphalan (Alkeran Injection)?

Melphalan is a cancer medication. Melphalan interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Melphalan is used to treat multiple myeloma (a type of blood cancer), cancer of the ovary, and breast cancer.

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

What are the possible side effects of melphalan (Alkeran Injection)?

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

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • missed menstrual periods;
  • unusual lumps or masses;
  • red skin rash, rapid pulse, pain, weight loss;
  • breathing problems or a cough that won't go away; or
  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, confusion and weakness.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • temporary hair loss; or
  • mild skin itching and rash.

In some cases, second cancers have been reported to occur during and after treatment with melphalan. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk and benefit in using this medication.

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.

What is the most important information I should know about melphalan (Alkeran Injection)?

Do not use this medication if you are pregnant. It could cause harm to the unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

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

Melphalan can cause serious side effects, including: decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, bloody or black stools, pale or yellowed skin, confusion or weakness); breathing problems; or liver damage (nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice [yellowing of the skin or eyes]). Call your doctor at once if you have any of these side effects.

In some cases, second cancers have been reported to occur during and after treatment with melphalan. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk and benefit of this medication.

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