Altretamine review

Altretamine, also known by the trade name Hexalen, is an antineoplastic agent that is used to treat refractory ovarian cancer. However, it isn t regarded as a first-line treatment for the disease and is instead used as salvage therapy. It has the major benefit of not being as toxic as other medications currently being used to treat refractory ovarian cancer. Hydroxymethylmelamines are the active metabolite for this drug. It was approved for distribution by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1990.

As already mentioned, altretamine is recommended for patients who have refractory ovarian cancer that has persisted or recurred after treatment with other anti-cancer medications. It has also been used to treat lung cancer even though that isn't an approved use of the medicine.

At present, this agent's precise mechanism of action and the reason behind its anti-cancer effect is unknown, but MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) has nevertheless classified it as an alkylating antineoplastic agent.

A patient's height and weight are major factors in determining the proper dosage of altretamine. This drug should be taken orally as instructed by your pharmacist or doctor. It's usually taken at bedtime and after meals. You should not increase your dose, take it more frequently than necessary, or halt treatment without prior medical consultation.

This medicine may be administered either for two or three consecutive weeks as part of one or more twenty-eight day cycles. The recommended daily dose of altretamine is usually split into four oral doses after breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bedtime.

The most common side effect of altretamine treatment is vomiting and gradual-onset nausea. Central nervous system symptoms (vertigo, dizziness, ataxia, disorders of consciousness, mood disorders) and peripheral neuropathy (tingling and numbness because of the abnormal function of the sensory nerves of the legs and arms) have also been reported. Luckily, these symptoms appear to be reversible.

You should also take note that altretamine therapy may cause platelet and white blood cell counts to decrease, which should increase the risk of bleeding and infection respectively. Seek immediate medical attention once you develop symptoms of blood disorders or nervous system problems such as the tingling of your hands or feet, mood changes, loss of coordination, easy bruising or bleeding, and persistent fever or sore throat.

Before taking this medication, be sure to inform your doctor if you have any allergies (especially drug allergies), blood disorders, nervous system disease, and seizure disorders. If after taking this drug you suffer from the dizziness side effect, practice caution when operating heavy machinery or driving. You should also be careful when climbing stairs or rising from a seated position.

Blood tests must first be conducted on a patient before starting treatment (and once a month during treatment) because altretamine has been known to cause blood problems like thrombocytopenia and bone marrow suppression. You should also be aware that this medication has been known to cause nervous system problems as well, so nervous system tests must be conducted too.

It is discouraged for expecting mothers to use altretamine. Ask your healthcare specialist first for more information in regards to pregnancy and altretamine use. It is also currently unknown whether or not this drug passes into breast milk, so it would be best for nursing mothers to stop breastfeeding while under altretamine therapy. As always, consult your doctor for more details.

Altretamine may cause severe orthostatic hypotension (a sudden decrease in blood pressure) upon standing when given to patients under antidepressant therapy of the MAO inhibitor class. Moreover, Tagamet (cimetidine) may hamper the purging of altretamine from your body, which may increase your risk for the drug's side effects. Conversely, although Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can reduce the risk of neurotoxicity, it can also reverse the beneficial effects of altretamine in treating ovarian cancer.

Altretamine has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of altretamine

• Molecular formula of altretamine is C9H18N6
• Chemical IUPAC Name is N2,N2,N4,N4,N6,N6-hexamethyl-1,3,5-triazine-2,4,6-triamine
• Molecular weight is 210.28 g/mol
Altretamine available : 50mg capsules

Brand name(s): Altretaminum, Hemel, Hexalen, Hexastat

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