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All about: Ethyol

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Generic Name: Amifostine (am-i-FOS-teen)
Brand Name: Ethyol

Ethyol is used for:

Reducing kidney damage due to cisplatin chemotherapy in patients with ovarian cancer. It is also used to reduce moderate to severe dry mouth associated with radiation treatment after surgery for head and neck cancer. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Ethyol is a cytoprotective agent. It works by binding to and detoxifying metabolites of cisplatin, which reduces toxicity on the kidneys. It also reduces certain harmful effects of radiation on healthy tissues.

Do NOT use Ethyol if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Ethyol or to similar medicines
  • you have low blood pressure or you are dehydrated

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Ethyol :

Some medical conditions may interact with Ethyol . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of blood vessel problems, heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat), stroke or transient ischemic attacks ("mini-strokes"), low blood calcium levels, or kidney disease
  • if you are taking medicine to treat high blood pressure or you are receiving chemotherapy for other types of cancer

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Ethyol . However, no specific interactions with this medicine are known at this time.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Ethyol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Ethyol :

Use Ethyol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Ethyol is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Ethyol at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • Patients who take blood pressure medicines may need to avoid taking them within 24 hours before or after using Ethyol . If you take medicine for high blood pressure, ask your doctor how to take it along with Ethyol .
  • If Ethyol contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Ethyol , contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Ethyol .

Important safety information:

  • Ethyol may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Ethyol . Using Ethyol alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Ethyol may cause low blood pressure. If you experience dizziness, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, seizures, fainting, or decreased urination, contact your doctor immediately. Patients who take blood pressure medicines may need to avoid taking them within 24 hours before or after using Ethyol . If you take medicine for high blood pressure, ask your doctor how to take it along with Ethyol .
  • If you experience nausea or vomiting, talk to your doctor about how to avoid becoming dehydrated. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help decrease nausea and vomiting that may occur while you are using Ethyol .
  • Lab tests, including kidney function and blood pressure, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Ethyol with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Ethyol during pregnancy. It is unknown if Ethyol is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Ethyol .

Possible side effects of Ethyol :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Drowsiness; feeling of coldness; flushing/feeling of warmth; hiccups; nausea; sneezing; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; chills or shaking; decreased urination; dizziness; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever; muscle twitching/cramping; numbness of an arm or leg; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent nausea or vomiting; severe stomach pain; shortness of breath; sudden severe headache; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include seizures; severe or persistent dizziness; shortness of breath.

Proper storage of Ethyol :

Ethyol is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Ethyol at home, store Ethyol as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Ethyol , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Ethyol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Ethyol . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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