Dactinomycin is available by prescription only
Dactinomycin is given
through a vein
Indications: Dactinomycin is used, alone or
association with other anticancer drugs, to treat the following
- Soft tissue sarcoma.
Dactinomycin is sometimes used to
treat other medical conditions not mentioned in this article; talk to your pharmacist or doctor for more
Dosage: Dactinomycin 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
Dactinomycin 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: Dactinomycin is
administered in hospital by professionals; the risk of overdose is very low. However, accidental overdose or
administrative mistake can happen. Dactinomycin overdose can cause exaggerated immunosuppression (life
threatening low immune defense), and lead to severe or fatal infections. There is no specific treatment for
Dactinomycin overdose. The treatment is symptomatic and close monitoring to avoid major
Missing dose: the fact that Dactinomycin 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.
Dactinomycin is not
recommended, or should be used with precaution in the following conditions:
or shortly after chickenpox or shingles
to Dactinomycin or one of its ingredients.
Mechanism of action (MOA): Dactinomycin slows or stops the growth
of cancer cells in your body
by modifying the structure of their DNA.
Some substances may
interfere with the healing power of Dactinomycin, or amplify its toxic effects. You should not take any
prescription or non prescription (including aspirin and vitamins) drugs during the treatment with
Dactinomycin without first consulting your doctor or pharmacist. Dactinomycin should not be associated with
vaccine against yellow fever, phenytoin, or live attenuated vaccines. If Dactinomycin is associated with
radiation therapy, increased surveillance is strongly recommended.
by attacking the cancer cells, Dactinomycin also attacks normal cells, which can cause various side effects in most
patients. Common Dactinomycin side effects include:
pain and diarrhea
serious side effects which require immediate medical attention; contact your doctor immediately if you
experience any of these symptoms:
- fever, which can be
accompanied with a persistent cough
- shortness of
- unusual bruising or
- dizziness or/and
of the skin or eyes
- swelling of your feet
and pain at the injection site.