Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Blood clotting: This medication can reduce the number of platelet cells in the blood. Platelets help the blood to clot, and a shortage could make you bleed more easily. Tell your doctor of any signs that your blood is not clotting properly. Such symptoms may include black and tarry stools, blood in the urine, easy bruising, or cuts that won't stop bleeding.
Fertility: There is little information about whether this medication causes infertility. However, other anticancer medications may cause infertility. Therefore, this medication may cause infertility. Discuss any concerns about infertility with your doctor.
Infection: As well as killing cancer cells, this medication can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). Avoid contact with people who are sick, especially those with contagious infections, and tell your doctor if you begin to notice signs of an infection, such as fever or chills.
Liver problems: If you have moderate to severe liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Secondary cancers: Anticancer medications such as dactinomycin may cause other types of cancer to develop, including leukemia. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this.
Vaccinations: You should not receive live vaccines while receiving dactinomycin.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Effective birth control should be practiced while using dactinomycin. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if dactinomycin passes into breast milk. Women should not breast-feed while receiving dactinomycin treatment due to risk of potential harm to the infant. Talk to your doctor.
Children: This medication should be given to infants only over the age of 6 months.