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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? No
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? No
  • Drug class: Antineoplastic


  • Treats head, neck, ovarian and cervical cancer.
  • Treats leukemia, melanoma and polycythemia vera.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Capsules--Swallow with liquid. If you can't swallow whole, open capsule and take with liquid or food. Instructions to take on empty stomach mean 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.

When to take:
According to doctor's instructions.

If you forget a dose:
Skip this dose. Never double dose. Resume regular schedule.

What drug does:
Probably interferes with synthesis of DNA.

Time lapse before drug works:
2 hours.

Don't take with:
Any other medicines (including over-the-counter drugs such as cough and cold medicines, laxatives, antacids, diet pills, caffeine, nose drops or vitamins) without consulting your doctor.


Black, tarry stools; fainting; seizures.


  • Dial 911 (emergency) or O (operator) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • See EMERGENCY Information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    In case of overdose, see Overdose Section.


  • Skin rash, fever, chills, cough, back pain.
  • Diarrhea, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting.


    Mouth sores, bruising, constipation, red skin.


    Confusion, hallucinations, headache, swollen feet.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:

  • You have chicken pox.
  • You have shingles (herpes zoster).

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you have anemia.
  • If you have gout.
  • If you have an infection.
  • If you have kidney disease.

Over age 60:
Adverse reactions and side effects may be more frequent and severe than in younger persons. You may need smaller doses for shorter periods of time.

Risk to unborn child outweighs drug benefits. Don't use.

Drug passes into milk. Avoid drug or discontinue nursing until you finish medicine. Consult doctor for advice on maintaining milk supply.

Infants & children:
Effect not documented. Consult your pediatrician.

Prolonged use:
Talk to your doctor about the need for follow-up medical examinations or laboratory studies to check kidney function, complete blood counts (white blood cell count, platelet count, red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit) and serum uric acid.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
Avoid if you feel confused, drowsy or dizzy.

May still experience symptoms of bone marrow depression, such as: blood in stools, fever or chills, blood spots under the skin, back pain, hoarseness, bloody urine. If any of these occur, call your doctor right away.


  • Advise any doctor or dentist whom you consult that you take this medicine.
  • May affect results in some medical tests.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------ -----------------------
Bone marrow Dangerous suppression of bone
depressants, other* marrow activity.
Clozapine Toxic effect on bone marrow.
Levamisole Increased risk of bone marrow
Probenecid May require increased dosage to
treat gout.
Sulfinpyrazone May require increased dosage to
treat gout.
Tiopronin Increased risk of toxicity to bone
Vaccines, live or Increased danger from vaccines.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: No special problems expected.
Beverages: No special problems expected.
Cocaine: Increased confusion. Avoid.
Foods: No special problems expected.
Marijuana: Increased confusion. Avoid.
Tobacco: No special problems expected.

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