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Cosmegen  (Dactinomycin)

Brand name: Cosmegen  

Generic name: Dactinomycin 

Therapeutic Class: alkylating agent  

Manufacturer / Distributor:  MSD-Chibret 

Availability:   Cosmegen is available by prescription only  

Dosage form: Cosmegen is given through a vein 

Indications : Cosmegen is used, alone or in association with other anticancer drugs, to treat the following cancers:  

  • Ewing's sarcoma 
  • testicular cancer   
  • melanoma  
  • uterine cancer 
  • Wilms' tumor 
  • rhabdomyosarcoma
  • gestational trophoblastic disease 
  • neuroblastoma  
  • retinoblastoma  
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Soft tissue sarcoma.

Cosmegen is sometimes used to treat other medical conditions not mentioned in this article; talk to your pharmacist or doctor for more information.  

Dosage: Cosmegen is usually injected into a vein through an intravenous site on the skin, which beforehand was sterilized. The drug can be administered alone or in combination with other antineoplastic agents (also called cancer chemotherapy drugs, cytotoxic drugs). The dose recommended by your doctor varies depending on your health in general, other drugs you are taking, type of cancer you have, and especially your weight and height. The reactions of your body to the treatment can obligate your health care provider to modify or stop the treatment. 

Cosmegen is usually administered in hospital or a center having sterilization equipment available for its preparation. The drug must be prepared and administered by medical specialists in oncology or hematology or nurses experienced in oncology. Although administered into a vein, the drug can leak into surrounding tissue, cause health issues; special monitoring during the treatment is necessary.  

 Overdose: Cosmegen is administered in hospital by professionals; the risk of overdose is very low. However, accidental overdose or administrative mistake can happen. Cosmegen overdose can cause exaggerated immunosuppression (life threatening low immune defense), and lead to severe or fatal infections. There is no specific treatment for Cosmegen overdose. The treatment is symptomatic and close monitoring to avoid major complications. 

 Missing dose: the fact that Cosmegen is administered in hospital by professional, it is very difficult to miss any dose if you are present at your doctor’s appointment. If for some reasons you cannot go to the hospital for the treatment, contact your health care provider before the date schedule for the injection.  

Contraindication : Cosmegen is not recommended, or should be used with precaution in the following conditions: 

  • Pregnancy 
  • breastfeeding  
  • bone marrow failure  
  • during or shortly after chickenpox or shingles 
  • Allergy to cosmegen or one of its ingredients.  

Mechanism of action (MOA): Cosmegen slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body by modifying the structure of their DNA. 

Interactions: Some substances may interfere with the healing power of Cosmegen, or amplify its toxic effects. You should not take any prescription or non prescription (including aspirin and vitamins) drugs during the treatment with cosmegen without first consulting your doctor or pharmacist. Cosmegen should not be associated with vaccine against yellow fever, phenytoin, or live attenuated vaccines. If Cosmegen is associated with radiation therapy, increased surveillance is strongly recommended.  

Side effects: b y attacking the cancer cells, Cosmegen also attacks normal cells, which can cause various side effects in most patients. common Cosmegen include:     

  • mouth blistering
  • temporary hair loss  
  • nausea and vomiting  
  • decreased appetite 
  • weight loss  
  • abdominal pain and diarrhea 
  • difficulty swallowing 
  • blistering skin 
  • skin irritation  
  • Skin rash.  

Cosmegen can cause serious side effects which require immediate medical attention; contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • chills 
  • Seizures  
  • fever, which can be accompanied with a persistent cough  
  • shortness of breath 
  • breathing difficulty  
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • dizziness or/and faintness 
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes 
  • swelling of your feet or ankles 
  • Swelling and pain at the injection site.